Beauty Interview

Interview with Christine Nguyen – Part One

One of the great shames of my life is that I am absolutely positively CLUELESS about makeup – I kind of tend to buy the same stuff and wear it over and over again, until somebody politely informs me that I do, indeed, look horrible.

I always want to try to look better and and am always tempted to try to buy whatever the makeup artists at Nordstrom are trying to hawk me – but then I get paranoid that they are just trying to sell some useless product or that it’ll break me out – so I always end up with nothing. That’s why I am so excited for this week’s interview with my lovely friend and makeup guru, Christine Nguyen. Christine is an incredible artist and has done makeup  and hair for everything ranging from Beyonce music videos to French Vogue editorial shoots. She’s worked for years with makeup superstars like Scott Barnes, and was kind enough to answer all of my beauty related questions. I’ve included some of my favorite photos of Christine and her adorable dog, Fab, throughout as well:

The beautiful (and lovably goofy) Christine

Who are you ? What do you do, and where do you live?

I’m a total dork, but my name is Christine Nguyen and glamour is my occupation. I’ve been doing makeup for over 11 years professionally in Los Angeles, working on everything from music videos, print, TV, commericals, celebs and non celebs!

I am so excited that you are doing this interview because I am an idiot, big idiot about makeup. What are the essential makeup items to use, in your opinion?

Well it depends on who I’m working on, but I think every girl needs these key items in their makeup bag:

My collage of Christine’s recommendations 🙂

Blush: Glow On blush by Shu Uemura, Tarte (Amazonian clay powder blush) & Stila convertible colors are my favorites.

Powder: Translucent powder by Pola in Sheer Rachel aka #E22, Laura Mercier powder foundation & Tarte Provocateur powder are staples in my kit.

Mascara: Nars makes two great ones. One is a volumizing formula & the other is lengthening. You can use one, or layer both for mega lashes. They are great too because they don’t weigh down your lashes.

Concealer: Corrector palette by Colorescience. There are 5 colors in the kit, but I mainly use the peach one under the eyes to brighten the area. Sometimes i mix it w/one of the yellows too if I’ve been sleep deprived. The darker tones are great to mix with the yellow and peach too to cover up blemishes & scars.

Lip color: YSL makes some pretty delicious ones. from the new Sheer Candy line, to the Rouge Volupte. I love that they make beautiful matte colors!

Eyelash curler: Kevyn Aucion makes my favorite one. It lasts so much longer the other ones and never pinches.

Christine’s adorable dog, Fab

Another gratuitous dog pic…I love dogs!

Sometimes I think I do an OK job on my makeup, and then in photographs I discover I look like a goblin. Do you have any tips for looking good in photos?

I highly doubt that you could actually make yourself look like a goblin! Maybe more like a like panda bear? Or a koala? You know, something more fuzzy and warm blooded.

1. What people don’t seem realize about photography is that your features will disappear in pictures if you don’t enhance them – so don’t be afraid to use a bit more eyeliner and mascara. Fill in your brows a bit if you don’t have a full brow.

2. Use a foundation or a powder foundation for a bit more coverage than usual. I always match the foundation to the neck or upper torso..by doing this you avoid having that awful white ghost faced look in pictures. Just say NO to Casper!

3. Also, contour is your best friend. It’s a bit more advanced for the novice but it makes a HUGE difference in pictures. If done right you can lose pounds off of your face, have a slimmer, higher, cuter nose, and pop those cheek bones you thought you never had!

What are your makeup pet peeves? Bad habits that keep you up at night? What looks good on almost nobody??

Christine tells you…Just say NO!


Hmm pet peeves. I hate tarantula lashes! There is nothing cute or sexy about gooped on mascara that looks crusty & nasty. Lashes should be fluttery & pretty, not like they’re harvesting disease!

Another pet peeve is bad brows. Too thin, too arched, too dark, too solid, beaten to death brows! Oh ladies, this always makes me cringe. This is the stuff that haunts me all the time. please don’t tweeze/wax/trim them to death. Let them grow! Super thin brows make you look older and it looks unnatural. It also kills me when girls fill in their brow super solid and too dark. It looks like they laid a stencil over their face & took a krylon paint can to it.

Nobody looks good with a bad fake tan. I’m sick of girls looking like carrots. it’s even worse when they add a shimmery bronzer to it, then you get what looks like a glittery carrot! St. Tropez makes one of the best natural looking fake tanners out there. If you have to tan, do it right please.

What is essential if you want to take good care of your skin?

Christine’s skin care recommendations

You mean aside from sleep and water?

I am in love with the Josie Maran Argan oil. For work, I use it either as a moisturizer or add it into foundation. For myself I use it morning and night as a moisturizer. It makes your skin so supple, adds a nice glow and doesn’t clog pores!

Fresh makes such great skincare. After all you need the right canvas for makeup, don’t you? I love, love, love the Sugar Lip Balms! It comes 4 different colors: Clear, Rose, Plum & Honey. There is one for every girl! they leave your lips just buttery soft without feelings waxy or greasy. I would die without this! I also love their Soy Face Cleanser, it’s gentle but will take off most of your makeup. The Sugar Face Polish is also great, and smells delicious! When my skin is feeling really parched I use their Black Tea Age Delay cream along with the Creme Ancienne Eye Cream. I could go on and on about Fresh, I (heart) them that much!

I am also hooked on my Clairsonic. I use it with the Soy Face Cleanser from Fresh or a cleanser from Eucerin. It gets all the dirt and makeup out of your pores after a long day! My skin feels so clean after I use it. I don’t know how I survived without one before.

A preview for tomorrow

Okay all – I hope you all enjoyed Part 1 of meeting Christine! I learned so much from her and tomorrow she tackles some of my favorite topics – including drugstore vs. department store makeup, and her favorite products ever. She also shares some more of her personal life – including her love of costumes (isn’t her Wendy freaking amazing?) Also, check out Christine’s website here!


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  • homestilo
    July 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    How fabulous to be able to say "…glamour is my occupation"! I am not into makeup as much as I'd like to be- but I am very tempted now to try the layering mascara trick.

  • Miss Kwong
    July 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    the cosmetics are AWESOME! love NARS in particular

    Find me on:
    From Catwalk to Classroom.

  • Eve
    July 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    omg u interview all awesome personality!
    ughhh i need to learn form her photography makeup tips! my face looks like a flat board whenever i have my photos taken with all those chunky big professional camera!:D
    her doggie is too adorable!

  • Laura J
    July 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Loved this post! Not only great tips, but she seems so funny as well:) Hope your week is starting off well!
    xo
    lj

  • B.Inspired
    July 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you for posting this interview! Can Christine come and do my makeup?? LOL! I use a clarisonic and it was definitely worth the investment…I'll also check out the Colorscience Corrector palette, concealer is always too light or too dark!

  • Tangled In Texas
    July 6, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Yay! Thank you for another fabulous interview! I like to think that I do my makeup pretty well, but then…I make mistakes.

    Case in point – I thought I would wear a red lipstick as a "stain" on my lips on Saturday night. That part was fine, but in the photos, my eyes weren't accentuated enough, so all you can see is lips! Ugh. Christine's so right about needing to accentuate features more – especially when there's going to be pictures!

  • Alysson
    July 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    This was so awesome!! Christine seems so adorable!! Love her information. Thanks for sharing. XO

    http://simplicityisultimatesophistication.wordpress.com/

  • olivia
    July 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks again for another great interview! Also wanted to add that I really enjoy and appreciate your "reading now" section – where do you find such interesting reads?!? Anyway, many thanks!!!

  • Annette
    July 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I've been on a beauty kick these days, and all I want to buy is more make up and skincare products. I loved this post! Really can't wait for pt 2.

  • Tara @ Haute Lunch
    July 6, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    What a fun interview! I love Christine's personality and totally agree with her must have's and pet peeves! I used to hate my thick brows, but have grown to appreciate them in the last few years! Thanks for sharing, Katherine! I've missed reading your blog while I was on hiatus! Glad to be back!

  • Nelah
    July 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    She seems like a really fun person to hang out with or get a makeup done with. I totally agree with her on girls who look like carrot when tanning goes wrong. Great interview.

  • Melissa
    July 6, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Great interview!! Fun to hear from a beauty professional. And there's no way that you suck that badly at makeup… I think you always look pretty in your pictures!

    I liked her advice and her pet peeves… mine are bad eyebrows, too!! However, I sometimes like clumpy mascara, when it's on the lower lashes… I'm weird, I know.

    Her dog is so precious, btw! And she's convinced me to go get that argan oil that everyone won't stop talking about…

    xxMelissa

  • Michelle
    July 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Christine really seems super fun – great job on showcasing her personality in the interview.

    I also am digging on the tips – who doesn't need a few more tips and tricks in their glam arsenal?! Oh, and I wholeheartedly agree that goopy spidery lashes are public enemy #1. ♥

  • Yaya
    July 6, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Yay! another interview! I always look forward to these! =)

    http://www.atelier630.com

  • The Hue Smiles
    July 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    very helpful, i am just as clueless as you!
    Forever Chic,
    Amber

  • Joyce Lau
    July 6, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    That first collage looks almost exactly like what I have in my bathroom, except with different brands. I've stopped experimenting with colors, like I did when I was young. Now I'm a creature of habit and buy a small quantity of products I know I will use all the time.

    Clinique CityBlock sunscreen
    MAC concealer stick
    MAC combo foundation-powder i
    MAC pale pink blush
    Laura Mercier highlight-y stuff for lids / cheeks
    Shisheido eyelash curler
    Mabelline mascara
    Berry-shaded lipsticks / glosses from Body Shop and Clinique

    Laura Mercier

  • K
    July 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I think I am guilty of "tarantula lashes" … I have your typical Asian short, sparse, straight eyelashes, and if I don't put on gobs of mascara, my eyes look like they don't exist in my face. Does Christine have any suggestions?

    Looking forward to Part 2, as always!

  • Christine Nguyen
    July 6, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    @K

    are your lashes long enough to curl? what mascara are you using?

    do you use shadow or liner? if your lashes are too short to curl, you can use a shadow or liner to open up your eyes more.

    if you dont' have a double lid, and liner/shadow isn't an option, and you really have no lashes to curl, you might want to consider a lash growth serum. i have many clients that have used them. and i use one myself too! latisse, li lash, rapidlash & neulash are great ones.

  • K
    July 6, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    @Christine Nguyen

    Hi Christine, and thanks so much for replying personally to my question!

    I use Dior primer and a Dior waterproof mascara on top. To be honest, I might have exaggerated the extent of my tarantula eyelashes – they're not super-clumpy, but they're not as perfectly separated and fanned out as I would like.

    Additionally, I use a Lancome liquid liner on the top lid (I do have a double lid) and a pencil liner on the bottom; I don't use liquid on the bottom because I think it looks too harsh on me.

    I would say that from afar, and even from a "middle" distance, I look decent, but I feel somewhat uncomfortable when talking to someone up close, wondering what s/he might think of my eye makeup.

    I've tried Latisse, but I admit, I didn't use it regularly which is likely why I didn't see the promised results. I am thinking of getting an "eyelash perm" as I fail miserably at curling my own eyelashes.

  • Christine Nguyen
    July 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    @K

    i use dior for my clients, but not on the ones w/short little asian lashes. i find that it's just too heavy. if you like volume give the NARS Volumizing a shot. i really do love both of the nars mascaras especially for asian lashes. the curl stays all day & doesn't get weighed down.

    an eyelash perm is a good way to help also. i've had them done in the past. the only thing about them is that they usually uncurl unevenly as the perm fades. which i think is about 5 weeks? i forget, it's been awhile since i've had one.

  • amy b.s.
    July 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    i am completely makeup impaired, so thank you for the tips!

  • Meredith
    July 6, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    ohmygosh to Christina's tan! crazy crazy
    YOURS, MINE AND OURS

  • Jenna Lee
    July 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Love all of your NOs couldnt agree more!

  • projectroe
    July 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Great interview! I'd say I'm a makeup novice, okay I'm just lazy, but these tips and recommendations sound so reasonable and easy. Thanks! 😀

  • mew mew
    July 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Oh my gosh, I am definitely in the same boat as you when it comes to makeup. I have so much of it, and yet I have no idea what to do with it/I'm really friggin lazy about makeup. So thank you so much for this interview! She's hilarious too hahaha Can't wait for more tips in part 2! 😀

    Cecilia
    mew mew

  • Larie
    July 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Aw, she seems so sweet 🙂 Great tips, too!

  • Nicole
    July 7, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Great post, great interview!
    By the way, thanks for your lovely comment!

    Kisses from Hong Kong,
    Nicole

  • libbeh
    July 7, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I think this is my favorite interview by far… it's on the only topic I can 100% relate to because I can actually purchase the products that Christine recommends!! :-p Not that any of your other interviews weren't good… I'm a recent college grad, so I don't have the big $$$ to spend on designer goods… yet! ^_^

    I love her comments on her pet peeves.. but nothing is far cringing than seeing a "trifecta" (har har) of the 3 pet peeves!

  • The milk thief
    July 7, 2011 at 7:19 am

    nice interview
    very insightful hehehe

  • Drew {Coral Cafe}
    July 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Great guest post!! Loving how fun and bold she is!! And I ADORE that lavender wig!!

  • MrsKatherineA
    July 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Christine you are so fabulous and funny!! I will do my best to take your advice to heart- I need to! Such a great interview, can't wait to read part 2!

  • Alyssa
    July 8, 2011 at 5:20 am

    I read the part 2 of the interview first, but she is just so darn interesting I read the first part as well. Christine is so funny and I am definitely taking her advice. After this, I am going to visit her website! Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog it is greatly appreciated!

    Check out my new post!
    beautyandfashionmashup.blogspot.com
    -The BF Mashup

  • Christine Nguyen
    July 8, 2011 at 6:55 am

    @MrsKatherineA

    thanks MKA!

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    […] Part 2 Jul 072011   Hey everybody! I am so glad you all enjoyed yesterday’s Part 1 of my interview with Christine – and yes she is indeed as fun as she sounds in real life! I even got to get […]

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    […] were five of my favorite products – Dolly Wink eyelash glue (recommended by Christine), Dolly Wink liquid eyeliner, Kiss Me Heroine mascara, Love Liquid liner, and random brand […]