📸 Skai Chan Photography

Professional Makeup Artists & Hairstylists in Singapore

Hair and Makeup Artist (HMUA) in Singapore

Makeup & Hairstyling Services in Singapore

As a professional photographer in Singapore, I have the pleasure to work together with many talented and certified professional makeup artists and hairstylists for clients. I observe the makeup artists and make a list of the good ones, so that I can recommend their services to my future clients and whoever might need them.

My makeup artists and hairstylists can do a full makeover for you for your photoshoot, whether it's corporate or personal one. They can make you look your best for your events, such as weddings, D&Ds or Gala dinners.

Apart from female clients, my makeup artists and hairstylists are experienced with working with male clients for all kinds of styling, whether it's for a men's fashion, lifestyle photoshoot or wedding.

To sum up, these are some of the makeup services you can get:

  1. Beauty makeovers
  2. Body art
  3. Bridal make-up
  4. Brow shaping
  5. Clean makeup
  6. Eyelash enhancements
  7. Eyelash extensions
  8. Face painting
  9. Fashion show makeup
  10. Hairstyling
  11. Makeovers
  12. Men's makeup
  13. Performance make-up
  14. Photography make-up
  15. Special occasion makeup

If you are looking for a professional makeup artist or hairstylist, I'll be glad to recommend some of the most dedicated artists to you.

Makeup Artists & Hairstylists: Makeover Portfolios

I'm fortunate to have worked with quite a number of hair and makeup artists in Singapore. They are none other than Tricia Lee, Evelynn Tham, Edel Goh (MUA), Andrea Lai, Tan Sihui (Hair stylist), Mandy Yeo, Lovelle Cengiya, Yuko Imoto, Koreen Hong, Kelly Lim, Vivian Chong, Jessica Chia, Poon Sher Li, Ivy Tan, Joey Jo, Nicole, Alicia Lim, Neetha Neha, Jaspinder Kaur Gill and Thao Lee.

Below are some of the projects I have worked with those who are still keeping in touch with me. Over time, I do remove some of the HMUAs whom I'm unsure of their availabilities in order to keep the list neat.

  1. Tricia Lee
  2. Mandy Yeo
  3. Yuko Imoto
  4. Koreen Hong
  5. Kelly Lim
  6. Jessica Chia
  7. Ivy Tan
  8. Joey Yu
  9. Neetha Neha
  10. Thao Lee

Tricia Lee

Tricia used to work as a commercial hair and makeup artist before she gave up her full-time job in order to take care of her three children. Her past adventure with all the established photographers had trained her to spot the tiniest details. Due to her pro-activeness and eagerness to learn, she had also picked up many skillsets from the photographers, less how to operate the camera and lighting.

She has the perfect eyes for fashion and styling, and she can easily visualise the final outcome of her work. She is a magician who can turn a little girl into a gorgeous lady and a plain lady into a stunning lady. She loves the process of transformation of looks. She can direct models well and also pose them elegantly and naturally.

Tricia is more than a HMUA to me. She is a great friend who always goes all the way out to help others without seeking any reward. She guides me in my photography journey well, such that my shooting style is being influenced. She has also been going through my work with me to select the best photos out of the albums.

Unfortunately, Tricia is very much occupied and thus has very limited time in taking up requests.


Hair and makeup for Jade Lee by Tricia Lee Hair and makeup for Famel Tay by Tricia Lee Men's makeup for Liu Wing Lun by Tricia Lee

Mandy Yeo

Mandy is an extremely easy-going, generous and selfless lady. Apart from being emotional and sincere, she also injects fun into the shoots, especially when her sister is present. She is eager to improve herself by taking up more makeup courses on top of her vast knowledge and experience. She has a wide collection of accessories and wardrobes that often come in handy for any kind of shoot.

Mandy may not have the athletic build, however, her stamina can easily put many guys shame. She is one of the fittest HMUAs I have worked with. Despite holding onto her own heavy and bulky makeup tools, she has volunteered to carry mine during outdoor shoots - and she does it when I get too carried away with the model(s).

Her working style is quite similar to mine.


Hair and makeup for Jessyca Ang by Lavender Artistry (Mandy Yeo) Hair and makeup for Huirong & Tan Jiamin by Lavender Artistry (Mandy Yeo) Hair and makeup for Lei Louise by Lavender Artistry (Mandy Yeo) Hair and makeup for Lei Louise by Lavender Artistry (Mandy Yeo)

Yuko Imoto

Yuko Imoto - Hair and makeup artist
Yuko Imoto working on hair and makeup for Nathalie Blue

Currently stationing in Japan.

Yuko is a hair and makeup artist from Japan who speaks quite good English. She is a mature, independent, gentle and hardworking person who does not mind spending extra effort to make everyone look pretty. She would go the extra mile by hiding the model's scars on the legs.

Apart from being just a hair and makeup artist, Yuko is very strong in her styling and she could come out with a great concept for photoshoot, which is impactful. She is also good at guiding models.


Hair and makeup for Camille Roux by Yuko Imoto Hair and makeup for Ng Shinyi by Yuko Imoto Hair and makeup for Ng Shinyi by Yuko Imoto Hair and makeup for Shirlene Chew by Yuko Imoto Hair and makeup for Gilbert Lew & Shirlene Chew by Yuko Imoto Hair and makeup for Puang Shujuan & Tan Rou Ying by Yuko Imoto Hair and makeup for Tan Rou Ying by Yuko Imoto Hair and makeup for Nathalie Blue by Yuko Imoto Hair and makeup for Constance Huang by Yuko Imoto Hair and makeup for Low Kah Yoke by Yuko Imoto

Koreen Hong

Koreen Hong - Hair and makeup artist
Koreen Hong working on hair and makeup for Monica Weng

Koreen is an easygoing and accommodating hair and makeup artist. She has the never-give-up attitude that keeps the shoot going even when the shoot has overrun, continuing to put in her full effort. She is someone who will not complain about waking up early even though she had a full day the day before. Koreen is pretty easy to be pleased just like me; she will "dance like a kid" when people appreciate her work.


Hair and makeup for Pris Lim by Koreen Hong Hair and makeup for Pris Lim by Koreen Hong Hair and makeup for Boon Hui by Koreen Hong Hair and makeup for Angela Ni by Koreen Hong Hair and makeup for Monica Weng-Ong by Koreen Hong Hair and makeup for Monica Weng-Ong by Koreen Hong Hair and makeup for Monica Weng-Ong by Koreen Hong

Kelly Lim

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Kelly is responsible. There were a few incidents in that she had to drop her project, she actually forked out money out of her pocket to get a replacement. The second thing that comes to my mind is helpfulness. She is willing to share knowledge with me even when she is not involved in the project. We hit off very well since the first time we met.


Hair and makeup for Lovelle Cengiya by Kelly Lim Hair and makeup for Lovelle Cengiya by Kelly Lim Hair and makeup for Kelly Lim by Kelly Lim

Jessica Chia

Jessica Chia - Hair and makeup artist
Jessica Chia working on hair and makeup for Boon Hui

I'm embarrassed whenever I recall about the first time Jessica and I worked together. I reminded her a few times to text me once she was waiting for the bus but I was too busy setting up the equipment that I neglected my phone. She was, however, able to find her own way to the shooting location. Therefore, she is known to me as a patient, forgiving and independent lady. Even though the makeup was done indoors, I did not give her the most conducive environment as the air-conditioner in the hall was broken down and she had to move to the room as the model started perspiring. Next, I witnessed her running in and out of the room to fetch her tools that were already laid out at the first location. It was probably a more tiring shoot compared to her usual outdoor ones.


Hair and makeup for Boon Hui by Jessica Chia

Ivy Tan

Ivy Tan - Hair and makeup artist
Ivy Tan working on makeup for Eva Loa

I initially thought Ivy was an ice queen, probably because she was too focused on her work. I didn't interact much with her during the shoot. Since the couple we were working together with were my old friends, Ivy was rather stunned by the words I used. Eventually, she proved me wrong in judging people when we started discussing further collaboration. From then on, I have to think thrice whenever she tells me a problem because she can be just trying to bully me back.

Ivy is a very potential hair and makeup artist. I may not be a good critic of makeover work but she is pretty and hot, and thus simply showcasing herself has won half of the battle to gain the trust of clients.


Hairstyling and makeup for sunset beach bikini photoshoot Hairstyling and makeup for bikini fashion photoshoot Hairstyling and makeup for beach fashion photoshoot Hairstyling and makeup for beach bikini photoshoot Hairstyling and makeup for fitness headshot photoshoot Hairstyling and makeup for yoga photoshoot Hairstyling and makeup for pilates photoshoot Hairstyling and makeup for fitness photoshoot Hairstyling and makeup for Indian lady Men's hair and makeup for Anmol Men's hair and makeup for Anmol Hair and makeup for Isabelle Hair and makeup for Isabelle Men's hair and makeup for Greg Men's hair and makeup for Greg Men's hair and makeup for Greg Men's hair and makeup for Greg Hair and makeup for Alan Low & Cheryl Alicia Chua Men's hair and makeup for Alan Low Hair and makeup for Cheryl Alicia Chua Hair and makeup for Jane by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Ivy Tan by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Audrey Chen by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Audrey Chen by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Audrey Chen by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Audrey Chen by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Audrey Chen by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Katherine Whiteway (Nekotsurin) by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Katherine Whiteway (Nekotsurin) by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Ivy Tan by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Beatrice Lee Mynn by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Karen Ivy Diaz by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Karen Ivy Diaz by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Ivia Xiao Hui by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Charis Tan Mei Xuan by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Karen Ivy Diaz by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Eva Loa by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Ivy Tan by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Ivy Tan by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Charis Tan by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Su Huiting by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Su Huiting by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Su Huiting by Ivy Tan Hair and makeup for Su Huiting by Ivy Tan

Joey Yu

Joey is a very soft-spoken and easy-going lady and thus talking to her is an enjoyment. With her looks, she could have become a model as well. She can also share a very detailed analysis of photographs with me.


Hair and makeup for Teo Shu Ying by Joey Yu

Neetha Neha

Neetha also conducts makeup courses for makeup artists. She helped to organise a shoot between a client and me. During the shoot, she also asked me for opinions on the makeup.


Hair and makeup for Renu by Neetha Neha Hair and makeup for Renu by Neetha Neha

Thao Lee

Thao Lee - Hair and makeup artist
Thao working on makeup for Ye Qi

Thao Lee is a very flexible hair and makeup artist who's able to do her work in any kind of environment. She doesn't complain. She's also very quick-witted and creative. Working with her is very easy.


Hair and makeup for Ye Qi by Thao Lee Hair and makeup for Ye Qi by Thao Lee Hair and makeup for Ye Qi by Thao Lee Hair and makeup for Ye Qi by Thao Lee

What Sets Them Apart from other Makeup Artists & Hairstylists

I have seen many experienced makeup artists' work online that looks great. However, there are significant benefits to hiring top-notch makeup artists on our list. For sure, they know how to work their magic and make you look your absolute best. What exactly sets them apart from other artists? Well, let me break it down for you:

  1. A keen eye for detail: Our makeup artists and hairstylists pay attention to the little things that make all the difference, from the way your hair falls to the shade of your lipstick. They'll make sure every aspect of your look is perfect.
  2. Different styles: Our makeup artists and hairstylists are real pros when it comes to different styles. They have the skills to make any look happen, whether it's a classic, elegant look or something more edgy and bold. These ladies are like chameleons - they can adapt to any situation! When it comes to your individual needs and preferences, our artists listen. They know that every client is unique and deserves a look that's tailored specifically for them. Whether you're going for a natural, no-makeup look or something more dramatic, they can work with you to make it happen. They're all about creating a look that's uniquely you, so you can feel confident and beautiful no matter what.
  3. Passion: They are passionate about their craft. Our makeup artists and hairstylists love what they do, and it shows in their work. They're constantly honing their skills and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques to bring you the very best.
  4. Friendly: They have a knack for making you feel comfortable. Getting your makeup and hair done can be a bit intimidating, but our artists have a way of putting you at ease. They'll chat with you and make you feel like you're just hanging out with a friend, all while they work their magic.
  5. Professional: They are professional and reliable. When you book a makeup artist or hairstylist with us, you can rest assured that they'll show up on time and ready to work. They take their jobs seriously and will always go above and beyond to ensure you're happy with the result.
  6. Certified: Our makeup artists and hairstylists are certified professionals, so you can trust that they really know their stuff. They've gone through rigorous training and certification processes to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to provide you with top-notch services. You can rest easy knowing that you're in good hands with our team.
  7. Proven track record: As a professional photographer who has worked with them before, I can speak with confidence that they're some of the best in the industry. I've seen first-hand how they can transform looks, making our clients feel confident and beautiful. It's truly something special to witness!
  8. Better services: They provide unparalleled services. When you work with our makeup artists and hairstylists, you can expect nothing but the best. They take pride in their work and go above and beyond to ensure you're happy with the results. Plus, since they work directly with us, no middlemen are taking a cut of their fees, which means they can focus solely on providing you with exceptional service.
  9. High-quality products: They use high-quality products and tools. Our makeup artists and hairstylists use only the best products and tools to ensure a flawless finish. They invest in their craft and are constantly updating their kit with the latest and greatest products and tools.

Overall, our makeup artists and hairstylists are truly the creams of the crop. They're skilled, passionate and dedicated to making you look and feel your absolute best. We can't wait to work with you and show you just what they can do!

Rates & Packages for Makeup & Hairstyling

Personal hairstyling & makeup: $150 /look Photoshoot / Fashion: $200 /look Pre-wedding hairstyling & makeup: $250 /look Bridal hairstyling & makeup: $300 /look Mummy/Bridesmaid hairstyling & makeup: $140 /look Follow through photoshoot: $60 /hr Face painting: $70 /hr

There will be an surcharge of $50 for any session that starts before 6am.

Different hair and makeup artists may have different rates; therefore, do contact me with your requirements for more accurate quotation.

Note: I don't collect any commission from the hair and makeup artists so that they can provide their best services at the best rates to clients referred by me.

The Cost Breakdown of Every Makeup Job

  1. Tools The basic tools of HMUAs may not cost as much as photography equipment (camera and lenses) but the bits and pieces of small items do cost a bomb altogether. Items such as lipsticks and eyeshadow have various colours. Many tools do wear and tear, reduce in quantity or can't be reused.

    Good quality products may come at much higher prices but can also produce much more flattering results. For example, a good eyelashes curler can cost four times the price of a normal one but it can even out the eyelashes better. Better quality makeup products can be blended better onto the skin and won't fade off as easily as the cheaper ones.

    Therefore, most professional HMUAs insist on using good quality makeup products that won't tarnish their reputation, which will in term require a higher cost. If you happen to get a cheap deal, the HMUA may be using less expensive (quality) products on your face.
  2. Maintenance After every hairstyling and makeup session, the makeup artist has to clean up some of the reusable tools, such as brushes, curlers etc. This is for hygiene purposes. It requires time and effort to do it.
  3. Transport fee and time HMUAs often have to carry a bulky and heavy bag full of tools and thus it's difficult for them to take public transport. Therefore, some HMUAs will charge an extra fee for transportation, especially if it's an early morning makeover session the cab fare is usually higher. This is also the reason why some freelance HMUAs will charge a lower cost if you're willing to travel over to their houses or studios for the makeover session.
  4. Skill I'm separating experience and creativity from skill because a certified hair and makeup artist may not be equipped with them. Skill is the ability to do the basic hair and makeup job to a certain standard. It's similar to taking art lessons during school days where some students simply can draw very well, while somehow, most students can get at least a borderline pass. A hair and makeup artist is being paid for the skill, which is usually superb to the average person.
  5. Experience Experience doesn't come easy. Similar to other trades, no hair and makeup artist can produce good work simply by signing up for a makeup course. Everyone makes mistakes and faces new challenges and it takes lots of practice and real-life experiences to learn how to solve different situations. For example, it may be difficult to apply false eyelashes for some girls due to their unique features and an experienced makeup artist may be able to solve the problem.
  6. Creativity Creativity is the most undervalued aspect of a hair and makeup artist. Many hair and makeup artists are well-trained and certified to do the standard job of making every model look good. However, it takes boldness and creativity for a hair and makeup artist to create something eye-catchy, which differs from the usual style.

    Some hair and makeup artists do allocate time to do personal (non-mainstream) photoshoot projects, in order to showcase their creativity.

Makeup & Hairstyling in Singapore

There're different purposes for doing hairstyling and makeup. Therefore, male models are highly recommended to hire a professional hair and makeup artist for any photoshoot as well.

Purpose of Makeup

  1. Conceal imperfections Some common things that clients request to conceal are bad complexion, eyebags, acne, scars, stretch marks and puffy eyes. Of course, one man's meat may be another man's poison and some people may regard these as what makes them unique. Therefore, they may have to discuss this with the HMUA before the makeover session.

    Concealing imperfections may seem easy but it's actually not. Covering the face with a thick layer of foundation is likely to make the model's face look fake and it may also make the face "crack" faster. The wrong use of colour tones can make puffy eyes look worse. The differences in the colour of the face and neck make the model look weird too.
  2. Highlight and shape features Makeup can be used to highlight good features and also shape the features, such as nose bridge, eyes and lips. Contouring can be applied. Eventually, these would make the model look better.
  3. Improve vitality In this era where everyone's busy and sleep has become a luxury, some people do look pale. Makeup can help to make the face look livelier. Moreover, models tend to look paler in photographs and thus makeup does help to improve the look on photographs.
  4. Create the look to fit the theme Makeup isn't simply to make the model look good but also help to create the look to fit into the theme.

Purpose of Hairstyling

  1. Keep hair nice or at least neat At the minimum, the model's hair shouldn't be messy. Strands of hair, unless intended, should be covering the face.
  2. Shape face Hairstyling makes a big difference not only to present the feel that you want to display, it also helps to shape your face. For example, if you have a high forehead, the hairstylist can try to make it less obvious.
  3. Create the look to fit the theme Hair is an important part of the model to create the look to fit into the theme.

The majority of the photographers aren't makeup artists and although they can conceal some imperfections in Photoshop, they likely don't have the expertise of makeup artists to do the rest.

Makeup VS Photo Editing

Makeup and photo editing are both essential to create great artwork. None of them can replace the other.

  1. Photographers aren't makeup artists Some people have this wrong assumption that photographers can "Photoshop" everything, including makeup. Although photographers may have knowledge of photo editing, they aren't trained in makeup and thus don't know what exactly to be edited even if they may know the tools for the specific job.
  2. Makeup can greatly reduce photo editing work Professional photo editing work is usually very tedious. Good photographers try to get things right during the photoshoot. If the flaws can be fixed or reduced during the hairstyling and makeup session, it would greatly reduce the amount of post-production work.

    This is the reason why some professional photographers would charge an extra fee for photo editing if no professional hair and makeup artist is involved and some photographers would even reject the job.
  3. Makeup helps to maintain consistency Given that there're 10 photographs, the photographer has to edit the same flaw 10 times. The effort will be even greater if there are more things to be fixed during post-production. Eventually, the photo editing for every photograph may likely not be consistent, especially with a larger quantity of photographs. Inconsistency may be spotted easily by professionals who pay attention to details.
  4. Not all photographs can be edited Some photographs with flaws in certain angles cannot be edited. Photographers also can't do certain work like editing eyes extremely or adding false eyelashes.

Different Levels of Makeup Artists

I personally categorise makeup artists into a few levels, with no means of insulting anyone.

  1. Amateur An amateur refers to a girl who doesn't know how to apply makeup properly. She may know what's foundation and blusher but she's just randomly applying them. When I began portrait photography as an amateur photographer, I did work with some female friends under this category.
  2. Enthusiastic With the ease of free makeup tutorials online, such as YouTube, many young girls nowadays have started learning to do makeup by themselves. Some girls are able to pick up the skill that's enough to make themselves look good. However, most of these girls are by birth, already quite good-looking. A girl who is good enough with her own makeup may not be good at doing makeup for others because everyone has different flaws on her face.
  3. Trained or certified A makeup artist who has undergone training and gotten a certificate from either an experienced private teacher or makeup school knows the basics to do good makeup. She may know the concepts and theories but may need more hands-on experience in order to learn how to deal with different kinds of faces.
  4. Experienced There are tens or hundreds of new hair and makeup artists graduating from the makeup schools (including makeup studios) in Singapore yearly. Most of them are only taught the basics and it takes lots of practice to be proficient. An experienced makeup artist not only knows how to do good makeup for everyone but also knows what kind of makeup suits a girl. They usually command higher rates.
  5. Master A master not only knows what kind of makeup suits a girl but also how to style the girl to a specific theme or concept to bring out the feel.

    For example, a client may need special styling in order to participle in her company DND or a young girl needs to be transformed into a mature-looking girl.

The Importance of Good Makeup and Hairstyling

professional hair and makeup for female
"After and before" female makeover by hair & makeup artist Ivy Tan. Photo by Ivy Tan.

professional hair and makeup for men
"Before and after" men's makeover by hair & makeup artist Ivy Tan. Photo by Ivy Tan.

When you organise an event or portrait shoot that you have spent lots of time and money on, you probably want to get a good photographer to capture the moments. Similarly, you should be thinking about how to look your best during the probably once-in-a-lifetime event or when you want to do a photoshoot. This is the reason you need a good hair and makeup artist.

People do undermine professional hairstyling and makeup due to a lack of appreciation. For instance, some freelance models have told me that they preferred doing makeup by themselves because they knew their own faces better. One client even told me that she could get free makeup done at cosmetic stores, claiming the work was similar to professional hair and makeup artist's standard.

Similar to photography, not everyone knows how to tell the quality of the work. If you are given a single photograph, you probably won't realise it can be done much better. If you put two photographs side by side, you can roughly tell which is a better photograph even though you may not be able to point out the differences.

It takes time to improve judgement. Even for an experienced photographer like me, despite I can judge bad makeup, I'm not an expert in differentiating good and excellent makeup jobs. If a person does not see the value of good hair and makeup, the professional has no extra value and the person won't be willing to set a good budget for it.

On one occasion, a client of mine got into the limelight and people started searching online for her.

We did a photoshoot many years back when she was much younger. She didn't have the budget to hire a professional hair and makeup artist and she could only apply basic makeup for herself. Therefore, the end result wasn't fantastic. To be fair, her look was better than most average girls.

Nevertheless, people who hide behind the Internet are usually bold since they think it's not easy to identify them. Unfortunately, they include people who assume themselves to be celebrity-looking and would undermine other people's looks. They would give very nasty comments on social media and forums.

If she had hired a professional hair and makeup artist for the photoshoot, there wouldn't be as many personal attacks on her based on her looks.

Problems of Working with HMUAs

Being able to work with a professional hair and makeup artist is a luxury. It can bring the quality of the final work to a greater height, or at least, reduce problems in styling. A good hair and makeup artist is crucial to the success of heavily scrutinised photoshoots, such as commercial, pre-wedding and modelling portfolios.

However, apart from the extra fee, it does come with some problems that we've to overcome eventually.

  1. Tighter schedules for arrangement of photoshoot Most people are very busy with various commitments. It can be challenging to arrange the date and timing of the photoshoot to fit just two parties' (photographer and model) schedules. With the addition of any person, such as a hair and makeup artist, to the team, the challenge increases.

    I had experienced once that an HMUA delayed giving me her schedule after I'd promised her the job and I eventually lost the project due to the drag.
  2. Earlier meet-up session, including in the wee hours If the professional makeover session isn't scheduled at the model's house, she would have to set off much earlier. That means if the team is going for the morning golden hour for the best result possible, the model may need to leave the house even before the public transport begins. That incurs extra costs for transportation.

    Even if the morning makeover session is to be done at the model's house, a professional makeover usually takes up more time than the model's own makeup and thus the model has to wake up much earlier.
  3. Makeup session overruns/ delays Poop does happen sometimes. The makeup session may begin late due to lateness by either the HMUA or model or the makeup takes longer time than estimated. As a result, the photoshoot would be delayed.

    Very experienced hair and makeup artists may be able to work at a faster pace and also give a better estimation of the duration, depending on the model's complexion and the complexity of the concept.

    My worst experience was having to meet up with the team at 5am so that we could start shooting at the golden hour. However, the makeover session took excessive time and we only started the photoshoot near 11am. There was once when the late afternoon photoshoot became a night photoshoot in near-total darkness.

Challenges of Doing Makeup & Hairstyling in Singapore

Being a makeup artist and hairstylist in Singapore has its fair share of challenges but the rewards are well worth it.

  1. Hot and humid climate: One of the biggest challenges is dealing with the hot and humid climate of Singapore. It can be tough to apply and maintain makeup and hairstyles as sweat and humidity can cause smudging, melting and frizzing. As a makeup artist or hairstylist, you must have the expertise to use products and techniques that can withstand Singapore's challenging climate and be prepared to touch up your client's look throughout the day.
  2. Diverse cultural makeup: One of the toughest obstacles that makeup artists and hairstylists face in Singapore is the incredible diversity of its residents. Being a melting pot of cultures, Singapore is home to people with various skin tones, facial features and hair types. It requires them to be proficient in handling diverse skin tones and hair textures and to have a sound understanding of the best makeup and hairstyling methods that suit each client.
  3. Keeping up with trends: In addition to that, keeping up with the latest trends and techniques can be quite challenging. In Singapore, where fashion and beauty trends are constantly evolving, makeup artists and hairstylists need to stay up-to-date with the latest techniques, styles and products. This requires a commitment to ongoing education and training, as well as the willingness to experiment and try new things.
  4. Pressure for flawless results: Another challenge is the pressure to deliver flawless results every time. In a city where image is highly valued, clients expect nothing less than perfection when it comes to their makeup and hairstyles. This means that makeup artists and hairstylists must have an eye for detail and can execute their vision flawlessly, even under pressure.

Despite these challenges, working as a makeup artist or hairstylist in Singapore is an exciting and rewarding experience. The diverse cultural makeup of the city provides endless opportunities for creativity and experimentation, while the high standards and expectations of clients can help to push artists to be their best. By overcoming these challenges and continually refining their skills, makeup artists and hairstylists in Singapore can thrive in this exciting and vibrant industry.

HMUAs: Working with Skai

I enjoy meeting and working with new people but I prefer sticking to just a few HMUAs. The reasons are obvious that: (1) they have a good working attitude, (2) passionate about the art, (3) good standard of hair and makeup skills and (4) I've already built up a good rapport with them. Eventually, having good communication between the entire team would help to produce better work, especially for portrait photoshoots.

However, I'd need to alias with more HMUAs as it's difficult to find an HMUA whose schedule can always fit into my clients' and mine. Some HMUAs do have another full-time 8-5 job and thus they're only available at night and during weekends, and their weekends would usually be packed with many makeup jobs.

Skai's Vision & Goals for Makeup & Hairstyling

I've personally witnessed how makeup can do wonders. My vision for makeup and hairstyling is similar to what I wish to accomplish for my photography: I want every client to feel confident, beautiful and empowered.

I believe that makeup is not just about enhancing external beauty but also about bringing out the inner confidence and radiance that we all have within us. I also believe passion and character of the makeup artists are equally important as their skills.

This is why I have been gathering a list of skilled makeup artists and hairstylists who have the same vision as me and truly love their jobs and not simply doing it for monetary gain.

Benefits of Working with Skai

Promotion / Marketing
I'd do my best to promote their makeup services occasionally on my websites and social media profiles, without spamming my followers. It includes listing them on this page, which I would recommend to potential clients who need professional makeover services.

Special discount for clients
To further promote the HMUAs I have confidence in, I have included discounts in some of my photography packages for clients who would hire any of my HMUAs.

No commission
On the other hand, I don't take any commission from the HMUAs. I expect that, in return, they would do their best for the clients I've recommended to them. After all, every artist requires proper income to continue with their passion.

Requirements to Become Skai's HMUAs

  1. Appreciates my artwork and character The main reason someone wants to work with me should be that she appreciates my artwork and character. For a stranger to understand me, she should have spent a lot of time and effort going through my website to study my work and writing. If the reasons for an HMUA to work with me, for example, are to get a kick start due to my large social media follower base or that she's simply desperate to get a photographer, the relationship likely won't last long. Without knowing and appreciating me, there won't be enough trust for any long-term collaboration.
  2. Good EQ The HMUA should also be sensitive to things, for example, if the model seems awkward with the presence of a third person apart from the photographer, the HMUA may want to excuse herself for a while to allow the model to get into the mood. I also need a positive vibe. If someone in my team is showing a "black" face from time to time, it will affect the entire team. Imagine in the midst of a photoshoot, the HMUA looks restless or grumpy, I'd be wondering, "Is she expecting us to end the shoot now?" I have experienced it and it's very awkward, especially when I'm someone who's constantly taking care of the welfare of the entire team.

    During a sensual photoshoot with a very open-minded model, we wanted to suggest the model do some sexy poses that she hadn't tried before. I allowed time for the model digest to see if she was comfortable, making it clear that she would make the final decision. It was nearly midnight (the model turned up late for the night studio photoshoot) and the HMUA was frustrated (she later admitted she was sleepy). Instead of guiding the model, the HMUA lectured me like a student, telling me to speak up (when I had already given clear instructions to the model and was waiting for her response). I was totally stunned by how the HMUA put me in an awkward situation.
  3. Open-minded The genre of some of my photoshoots may be more sensual. Therefore, the HMUA has to be open-minded and comfortable with working with models who may be showing quite an amount of skin. The HMUA has to understand that professional photographers should be treated with trust and respect.

    There are many ways an HMUA can make things awkward. For example, she tries to cover up the model and make it seem like she's protecting the model from a pervert. She may be making the model tenser.
  4. Upholds values Our work involves working with many people, including aspiring models. We should be doing things that can keep the models safe and we shouldn't get involved with people who are obviously black sheep in the industry. By working with black sheep, innocent girls may mistake that we have verified the person's character by associating with him and letting their guard down.

    I did have an encounter with an HMUA friend who was approached by one such black sheep to offer her "business opportunities". She told me she found out that he was previously being charged for outrage of modesty of model(s) under him. She tried to persuade me to join them for discussion but I turned her down. She then threw insults at me, sarcastically saying that I didn't want to make money.
  5. Good stamina I do all kinds of photoshoots, including a lot of on-location shoots. During my outdoor photoshoots, if the HMUA were to follow through, she should at least have the stamina to walk and stay alive. Clients do pay a lot for a professional HMUA to follow through with the photoshoots so that the HMUA can touch up on their makeup and hair when necessary.
  6. Able to keep confidential details We'll be discussing a lot about the models, including their merits and flaws, in terms of their looks, attitudes, characters and requests/ demands. There's no perfect person in this world and thus it's inevitable to highlight about negative aspects. If the HMUA happens to leak our discussion, it may sow discord between the models and me, because the words may be brought across wrongly or in a negative tone, or perhaps, not all facts can be acceptable.

    Once, I told an HMUA not to expect too many good photographs from the photoshoots due to many constraints during the photoshoot that I couldn't produce a larger variety of good photographs, unlike our previous projects. It was out of goodwill so that she wouldn't set far too high expectations of the final work. I totally didn't know the HMUA was bearing lots of grudges with me over time (she still worked with me) and she misled the model into thinking that I was bashing her. Luckily, the model confronted me directly.
  7. Shares all problems regarding the shoot with me We're working as a team and a photographer is supposed to oversee everything for the photoshoot. Eventually, the photographer has to communicate with the model to make her feel comfortable during the photoshoot. Although I'm a guy, it doesn't mean that I should be kept away from knowing "sensitive" stuff that would affect the photoshoot.

    There was once when a model forgot to bring/ buy nipple stickers for the photoshoot, she asked for some normal tapes from the HMUA. I could sense something was wrong and the HMUA refused to tell me about the (common) issue. Her reaction and tone made it seem like I was an outsider and that kind of drew a border between the model and me.
  8. Able to communicate well in English via texting I'm bilingual in both English and Chinese but it's difficult for me to communicate via Chinese by texting. I'm not an A-grader in English and if someone has a much weaker command of the language than me, it doesn't spell well. If the HMUA is weak in the English language, she won't be able to communicate well with me.

    My experience communicating with an HMUA with a bad command of English via texting cast lots of miscommunication. In the long run, it caused lots of miscommunication and frustration.
  9. Good rapport with me We often have to do discussions with other project members. The HMUA has to be in the same frequency in order to deliver the ideas. We are also working with a lot of female models and there are things that are better to be communicated via a female - the HMUA.

    There was once an HMUA and I had a group chat with a model to discuss a sensual concept, which was easier to be brought across through a female - the female HMUA. The HMUA blamed me in private for not being more direct in the discussion, instead of doing her part to explain more details in the group chat. She claimed the model didn't understand the straightforward concept and I explained that I was certain that the model wasn't interested. Eventually, the model turned down the idea directly.
  10. Able to work within timeframe If we want to do a morning outdoor photoshoot, we would be trying to grab the "first light" at around the golden hour (near 7am). If the HMUA arranges to start the makeup at 5am and yet we could only reach the venue only around 9am or even later, it would make no sense for the entire team to meet up so early (at 5am), having to battle with bad sunlight eventually. Similar to early evening shoots, if the makeup takes up extra time, the day shoot would end up becoming a night shoot instead.

    I did experience such a problem many times, which affected the quality of my work greatly and some of the concepts had to be changed on the spot after reaching the location late.
  11. Does the actual work If the HMUA is staying through the photoshoot, the primary duty is to take care of the model's image. She has to touch up the model's makeup when necessary and always keeps a lookout for strands of hair covering the face. Having to do photo editing for the strands of hair will prolong the post-production process and also affect the quality of work greatly.
  12. Does the physical contact work with model Since I'm a male photographer and most models are female, I'll avoid having any body contact with any model during the photoshoots myself. The HMUA has to help to adjust the model's outfit and posture if necessary. We work as a team.
  13. Keeps proper hygiene of tools We've to have clear conscience and not let anyone be affected by infection or whatever. Some models may be more sensitive to dirt and germs. For example, the brushes should be properly washed after every job.
  14. Quick confirmation Whenever I have a project on hand, I need a quick confirmation (not just a quick reply) with no obligation. It's okay for an HMUA to turn down any project if she's unable or uninterested. However, if the HMUA drags the confirmation until the date is nearer, it's extremely difficult for me to find another HMUA on short notice.

How to Become a Makeup Artist for Skai

As I would only recommend HMUAs who have already worked with me on any project, we would try to arrange for some test shoots first. Do approach me and let me know if you're interested.

You may like to read:
- Special photoshoots you can hire a professional photographer to do
- Freelance Models in Singapore
- Freelance Photographer in Singapore
- Talents you should avoid working with

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