As a celebrated make-up artist, Beno Lim is on speed-dial for dressing the faces that grace fashion runways and magazine covers. As the Senior Artist for M.A.C Singapore, Beno has been in the industry for over two decades and his enthusiasm for make-up and beauty speaks volumes of his impeccable skills. Recently, Beno spearheaded all the looks for the girls in Asia’s Next Top Model and we were in complete awe of his mad talent! Naturally, the make-up guru had a few tips to share with you Sassy Girls. Stay tuned to Sassy in the few weeks to come as we’ll be collaborating with Beno and M.A.C for some makeup tutorials! But first, we sat down with with the make-up guru, sans his tools and brushes to chat about his humble beginnings, favourite looks and his dreams of working on Iris Van Apfel’s mien.
Hi Beno! Can you tell us more about yourself and how long you’ve been making people beautiful with your skills?
Hi Sassy! My name is Beno Lim and I’m a Senior Artist for M.A.C Singapore. I’ve been in the beauty industry for 24 years now. Since young, I’ve always had a keen interest in art. Right after my army days, I came across an article about an old Japanese male make-up artist who was passionate about his craft. It was really cool to know that a guy can choose make-up as a career. That inspired me to want to be a make-up artist. In 1991, I was the first guy in Singapore serving behind the counter (prescriptives). I remember when I first told my mom that I wanted to work in the beauty industry and be a make-up artist. She was just happy that I found a job and thought it will only last me three months. Till today, I always like to share with my mom who I get to work with, where I am travelling to and what magazine shoots I did.
We know you’ve worked on big projects before, what’s the most memorable event/moment for you in your years of experience?
My most memorable moment would be keying the 2009 Audi Fashion Festival. It was great fun spearheading the fashion week which includes fashion’s biggest and hottest name like Christian Lacroix, Vivienne Westwood, Jacquette Wheeler, RAOUL, Ashley Isham, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Singapore designers.
My most favorite show was the Gareth Pugh Autumn/Winter ’09. It was his first catwalk presentation of his fall 2009 women’s and men’s collection. It was a really cool to work with the talented Gareth Pugh. All the models had black smoky eyes make-up, deep contoured cheeks and pale lips. I simply loved the black presentation, from the music, clothes, hair and make-up. I was really touched when Gareth Pugh came backstage to thank the team for a job well done.
And which element of your job do you enjoy most – shoots or shows?
I love working on both shoots and shows as they are different. I enjoy the energy and the process of working with the creative team to come out with the best pictures or best show. Although it’s tough shooting outdoors in Singapore with the hot, humid weather and early call times, it’s all worthwhile when you see a great picture come to live. I always believe that for every great shoot or show, it always requires great team work from the photographer, stylist, hair stylist, model and the crew.
How was it like spearheading Asia’s Next Top Model backstage?
Spearheading Asia Next Top Model was both fun and challenging. It was great fun working with the 14 lovely models and the crew. They are really nice girls and the prettiest girls for the series, both inside and out. The challenging part was the early call time and long waiting time. For each day’s filming, I would be always thinking about the next day’s look and preparation of products.
What are some of your favourite Spring/Summer make-up trends?
My favourite Spring/Summer make-up trend would be the Enlightened trend. I feel that this natural, clean and pure make-up with clear shine will never be out of style. A lot of focus has been about creating this beautiful glowing skin. You can create this effortless look by choosing the right foundation, make-up products and tools.
What is one important tip you’d give to our Sassy Girls when it comes to their make-up?
One important tip that I would give to Sassy Girls would be to take good care of your skin. Treat your skin with lots of tender loving care, so that when you need to put make-up on, it would always look flawless and beautiful. My favourite range of skincare is the M.A.C Lightful C Marine-Bright formula skincare. It softens, conditions, moisten and plump skin for a smoother, more radiant look and feel. This range is one of our backstage favourites.
What’s your favourite M.A.C product?
My favorite M.A.C product would be Prep + Prime Essential Oil. It leaves skin feeling energized and moisturized with a healthy glow. I love to massage the skin with the Prep + Prime Essential Oil to improve radiance and to clarify skin. One of my make-up tip is to mix two drops of Prep+ Prime Essential Oil with any liquid foundation for a more sheer payoff and beautiful glow.
What’s the most favourite look that you’ve done?
The most favorite look that I have done is the make-up that I did for Tahlia, in the Asia next Top Model Cycle 3 for the eighth episode. I created a soft brown smoky eyes make-up with a natural lips for her streets of Singapore photo shoot which she won the best picture for the week.
Do you like creating really out-there looks, or do you prefer something classically beautiful?
As a make-up artist I like to create both really out-there looks and the classic beautiful make-up. There is not just one make-up look to define beauty. Make-up is all part of a lifestyle; it also depends on the inspiration and look require to suit each different style, preference, theme or moment.
Does everyone look better with make-up?
Yes! Make-up is every girl’s best friend. Wearing make-up helps to enhance your best features and it can be a confidence booster to brighten up your day. Make-up is one good way to help you create the image that you want to portray.
What are three make-up essentials that every girl should have in their cosmetic bag?
The three make-up essentials that every girl should have in their cosmetic bag would be M.A.C Studio Careblend /Pressed Powder for shine control and touch up, a M.A.C lipstick to touch up after meal and the M.A.C Fast Response Eye Cream to clean up any smudge under the eyes area.
If you could work on any face in the world, whose would it be?
It would have to be Iris Apfel, the fashion icon who is 93 years old! Beauty is ageless and I adore her sense of fashion, style and working ethics.
*Special thanks to M.A.C Singapore for coordinating this interview!