Rid­ing high

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF RENOWNED MAKE-UP ARTIST HUNG VAN­NGO IS A RE­VOLV­ING DOOR OF CELEBRI­TIES, FASH­ION SHOOTS AND RED CAR­PETS, ALL TACK­LED WITH HIS IN­NATE FLAIR AND LOVE FOR MAKE-UP. THE BEAUTY PRO TALKS TO EMI­RATES WOMAN ABOUT THE LAT­EST LONG-LAST­ING LINER

Emirates Woman - - Con­tents - Words: Jade Chilton

72 Rid­ing High: Hung Van­ngo.

Hung Van­ngo first emerged as a global make-up star when he moved to New York in the Noughties and started build­ing an im­pres­sive re­sume of mag­a­zine cov­ers. “Peo­ple started to no­tice me when I got the chance to do an ID cover in 2009 with the ‘su­pers’ – He­lena Chris­tensen, Clau­dia Schif­fer and Eva Herzigova,” says Van­ngo. “Right af­ter that I saw a turn­ing point.”

With fash­ion shoots firmly un­der his belt, he em­barked on the world of mu­si­cians and celebri­ties, paint­ing more A-list faces than you can name for mu­sic videos and VIP events. And if that wasn’t enough he has re­cently be­came the global artistry am­bas­sador for Marc Ja­cobs Beauty.

On a two-day stint in the desert with Marc Ja­cobs Beauty X Sephora, Van­ngo took some time out of his busy sched­ule to speak to us.

ON HOW IT ALL BE­GAN

“When I was young, I was paint­ing and sketch­ing faces but when I fin­ished high school, I went to hair­dress­ing school be­cause I thought I wanted to be a hair­dresser. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing, the hair sa­lon I started work­ing at had a make-up sta­tion and I be­gan play­ing with the prod­ucts. It was then I re­alised this was my true pas­sion. I just went from there and never went to make-up school. For me make-up is like art. Peo­ple can teach you the ba­sics but it’s re­ally up to you to play with tex­ture and colour and how you see a face when you ap­ply make-up. No one can re­ally teach you this.”

ON HIS BIG BREAK

“I was do­ing well in Canada and then when I moved to the US, peo­ple started to no­tice me. I got a chance to do an ID cover with three 1990s su­per­mod­els, shot in Lon­don with pho­tog­ra­pher Kayt Jones and right af­ter that I saw the turn­ing point. I started in fash­ion be­fore I started work­ing with celebri­ties.”

ON HIS LOVE FOR THE JOB

“Right now I’m re­ally into three dif­fer­ent fields – mod­els, celebri­ties and mu­si­cians. At first I wanted to do fash­ion and then I got into work­ing with celebri­ties and mu­si­cians. I love it all. It keeps my job ex­cit­ing. I wouldn’t do what I’m do­ing, es­pe­cially with all the travel, if I didn’t love it. The best part about my job is that it’s al­ways dif­fer­ent. One week I was in LA shoot­ing mu­sic videos with Katy Perry and Se­lena Gomez, the next I was in New York for the Met Gala with Se­lena, Giselle and Emily Rata­jkowski, fol­lowed by two big ed­i­to­rial shoots and then I flew here to Dubai for Marc Ja­cobs Beauty – and then it’s back to NYC. I know it sounds ex­haust­ing but it’s ex­cit­ing for me.”

ON THE IM­POR­TANCE OF PREP

“The key is prep­ping the skin be­fore make-up. I find there’s a lack of ded­i­ca­tion that peo­ple for­get. Ev­ery­one should be ex­fo­li­at­ing the skin three to four times as week. It’s so im­por­tant. One scrub I love is Lancer The Method: Pol­ish and a sim­ple one from St Ives. Both are re­ally nice and with low and high price points.”

ON TACK­LING DARK CIR­CLES

“We all strug­gle with dark cir­cles from lack of sleep and lack of wa­ter – I have them now from trav­el­ling. I find colour-cor­rect­ing con­ceal­ers are a lit­tle tricky for home use be­cause if they aren't used cor­rectly they can look wrong. I'm a re­al­ist and I don't want to rec­om­mend stuff that's tricky to use. I would def­i­nitely use a bright­en­ing pen to brighten up the area first and then ap­ply con­cealer on top. This will give the il­lu­sion of a brighter eye in­stead of try­ing to cover up too much. If you ap­ply too much prod­uct in the area, it will look too [ob­vi­ous].”

ON SE­LENA GOMEZ

“Se­lena is a dream, she lets me do any­thing I want. Usu­ally I say: ‘Se­lena, I want to do this' and she says: ‘Go for it'. She has never once said: ‘Hung, you can't do that.' For her Met Gala look I used a bright pink shade, High­liner Matte Gel Pen­cil in Pop­u­lar. The con­sis­tency is a cream shadow so I worked it onto the eye and blended it around, added more and blended again and it didn't crease.”

ON THE COM­MON MAKE-UP MIS­TAKE

“A lot of peo­ple think be­cause the weather is hot they don't need to use mois­turiser but that's a big mis­take as that's the time skin de­hy­drates the most. Mois­ture is ev­ery­one's best friend. You should mois­turise skin first, prime, then add a lit­tle of Re(Marc)able Full Cover Foun­da­tion. It sets fairly matte and you won't need pow­der to fin­ish.”

ON GLOSSY LIPS

“I'm not a lip­gloss per­son. If I do use it, I only use a hint. It's just my per­sonal pref­er­ence. A lot of peo­ple love liq­uid lip­stick but I just haven't got­ten into it. I think for a photo shoot it's fine but for red car­pet I al­ways get ner­vous be­cause there's no­body there to touch it up.”

ON LONG-LAST­ING LINER

“My top trick for tack­ling hot weather is the Marc Ja­cobs High­liner Matte Gel Pen­cil [Dhs100 ex­clu­sive at Sephora]. With any other pen­cil, min­utes af­ter you go out­side, you'll find it will melt but this one is long-wear. You have 15 to 20 sec­onds to blend it in any way you want and once it sets, it doesn't come off. This is the rea­son I used it on Emily Rata­jkowski's eyes for the Met Gala. I did her makeup at 11am, hours be­fore the event and it stayed put.”

ON GISELLE’S MET GALA LOOK

“Giselle, of course, knows what she wants. She said: ‘Hung, I want to look like a god­dess. I want to feel like I'm go­ing to the Os­cars, not the Met.' She wanted to look beau­ti­ful, not cos­tume-y, with­out too much make-up. I worked two neu­tral colours, one on the lid and one smudged into the lash line.” n

Lancer The Method: Pol­ish Dhs275 avail­able at net-a-porter.com

Sk­in­flash Ra­di­ance Booster Pen Dhs205 Dior

Se­lena Gomez’s mes­meris­ing neon pink eyes stole the show at the Met Gala

Giselle glowed like a god­dess in me­tal­lic neu­trals and bronzed skin

Re(Marc)able Full Cover Foun­da­tion Dhs220 Marc Ja­cobs Beauty avail­able ex­clu­sively in Sephora UAE

Un­der(Cover) Per­fect­ing Co­conut Face Primer Dhs130 Marc Ja­cobs Beauty avail­able ex­clu­sively in Sephora UAE

High­liner Matte Gel Pen­cil Dhs100 Marc Ja­cobs Beauty avail­able ex­clu­sively in Sephora UAE

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