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Interview: LFW Head Make Up Artist, Lan Nguyen


You were the head make up artist at Vauxhall Fashion Scout at this year's LFW - How did you get into the beauty industry?

I got into the industry through word of mouth and luck! I was actually working in a photographic studio where they needed help on doing makeup and after I gave it a try I haven't stopped since. This is 9 years ago. Ever since then every job has led to one thing to another and I'm here loving every minute of it.


Do you have any advice for people wanting to be a make up artist?

The best advice I can give to any aspiring make up artist is to try it first hand. Experience is the key to development of skills and to learn how it all works. Assisting another artist shows how it is all done and helps to develop your knowledge and gets you into places for networking. However it is a long and gradual process so you have to be ready to take it all in and work very hard for yourself. Working in retail is a great way to learn how to deal with clients and to test your makeup skills.


What key products did you use on the models at LFW?

Some key products we used on the shows were The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream, All–In-One Cheek Colour, Moisture Foundation and the Shimmer Cubes. We also used their fabulous new Colour Crush eye colour collection, which doesn’t launch until February 2013.


How do you decide on a make up look for each show?

For each show the makeup is unique to the designer. Depending on the overall feel of the collection and the colours and them behind it will help me dictate what the best makeup look should be. It is all about the character of the model and what she is representing. I do lots of research and prior to the show the team comes together to decide and test the look. It can take days of preparation to decide.


Where do you find your inspiration for creating different looks for each show?

I find my inspiration through the designer, hairstylists, books, paintings and references from other shows and of course mainly through what products are available out there at the moment. The colours you have can sometimes dictate what you can achieve. I'm always looking for innovative products to experiment with. All these elements inspire me.


What does a day in your Fashion Week life entail?

A day in my life at LFW is probably 2 days rolled into one as I don't get much sleep. I prepare kits for my team of up to 40 in a day in the early hourse of the morning. I go through each design look for each show and make sure we have the correct products for the show, listing all the key items and work out how long it will take to complete the looks.

I carry at least 4 bags of kit into my first show. Set up and do a demonstration for my first model. I then explain to my team how to create the look. As they create the look I will need to confirm with the designer if they are happy. Then we do the run through on catwalk and check the look is complete and looks good on catwalk with the camera and lights. During this time I am doing interviews and dealing with press and any other problems that are happening backstage.

After 3 hrs of prep for models its nearly time for show and I line up the models to do final checks and adjustments. Make sure all skin is perfect in every way and once complete pack up and run to the next show. I would repeat this for up to 6-8 times in the day depending on how many shows I'm keying. At the same time I check on my other key artists to make sure they are happy with their shows. After shows are complete I head back home to prep for the next day and organise kit again. I try to eat as I go along as there is no set time for breaks!


Yikes! Sounds crazy! Before we let you go and have a well-deserved rest, what make up trends should we be rocking for SS13?

For SS13 we are going to see a strong accent on eyes and perfect lips. This season is all about perfection in application of the product placement on face. We are seeing lots of bright cheeks and colour. Pastels, blue orange, purple and pink are strong accents through the shows. Clean matte skin.

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