STARGazing: Interview with Mawaki Yamamoto | Makeup Artist
Being able to pursue your passion and make a living from it is a gift. If you are in need of a pick-me-up to jumpstart your week, keep reading and find out why it is important to dream big and believe in yourself.
Our guest for this inaugural installment of STARGazing is Mawaki Yamamoto, a Makeup Artist from Japan who is now based in Singapore.
When did you first become interested in makeup?
I have always liked to do people-watching since young.
When I see someone, there were times I thought, "This person would look awesome if she (or he) could make a change to...." But I didn't know back then what this X-factor was. When I was 20, I discovered a job called "Makeup-Artist" and I thought… this is it!
Where did you learn your skills? And how did you get your start in the industry?
I learnt at the prestigious Chiaki Shimada Makeup Academy in Tokyo. Chiaki Shimada is a very famous makeup-artist in Japan and I began my career as an assistant to another Makeup Artist soon after graduation. I quit after 3 months and became a freelancer.
What triggers you to pursue your dreams abroad?
I want to explore my opportunities and see how far I could go. I believe it is important for me to learn and work with people from different countries.
I also want to show the world what my makeup is. :)
You have lived in Paris, Monaco and Sydney before relocating here. Why Singapore and how does it compare to these major cities in terms of working and living?
When I first came to Singapore for holiday, my gut feelings told me this is the place for me to embark on a business. Initially, it was very tough as I did not know anyone here. Each country has its own charm. Singapore is a very safe and convenient place to live in and I feel quite comfortable here compared to when I was in Europe. It could be because I am an Asian and Singapore is a cosmopolitan city. I am now mostly in Singapore and I absolutely love this place.
I have also been to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Phuket and Medan etc and all these places never fail to fascinate me. I would certainly love to work in as many places as possible as there are just so much potential everywhere.
What areas of media do you frequently work in?
I have worked with Japanese celebrities, models, hair stylists, bridal companies and beauty pageant such as Miss Earth Singapore. Plus, beauty companies such as KOSE, CandyDoll and Dr. Ci:Labo on their campaigns.
Who has been your favourite celebrity client or photoshoot/campaign to work on?
I have been very fortunate to have numerous opportunities to work with many wonderful artistes such as Maki Tamaru, a Japanese actress who visited Singapore for a TV shoot. We worked together for 5 full days and had a very enjoyable experience.
I also have a fond memory of the shoot I did with Minako Nakano, a famous Japanese reporter where I met her co-stars Sho Sakurai of Arashi, Kippei Shiina and Keiko Kitagawa who are all famous personalities in Japan.
Do you have a muse or mentor who inspires you the most?
I have many, but usually I get inspired by the passer-by when I am out.
And Ines Ligron, the former National Director of Miss Universe Japan with whom I have the honour of working together on her charity and beauty events. It is not just limited to makeup; I admire her for her attitude and mindset towards the pursuit of true beauty.
What are some of your favourite makeup trends?
I do not really follow trends. I always focus on creating a baby-like and dewy skin to complement a look that can enhance the person's unique beauty.
What are your “must-haves” to create any desired look?
My right hand, sponge and cotton buds.
Can you share a few of your favourite makeup tricks with us?
I try to perfect the areas where people do not pay much attention to. In particular, I like to make the side profile look good.
As the year is coming to an end, do you have a favourite beauty product for 2013?
It has to be the Cosme Decorte AQMW Lasting Gel Eyeliner! It has both the benefits of a long-lasting gel liner with the convenience of a pencil. Application is quick and easy too.
What advice do you have for aspiring makeup artists?
First of all, dream big! It is an awesome job where you make others happy by making them look good and feel beautiful.
Be confident in your own makeup skills. This equates to confidence in making others beautiful too. Cosmetic products and makeup methods are always evolving. Hence, it is important to be flexible when adopting items and methods that can best exemplify the natural beauty of individuals.
What’s in store for you in 2014?
I would love to pass on my skills and knowledge. For starters, I will teach the locals and others my way of makeup.
And I would like to continue my work in product consultation with beauty companies. It would definitely be the icing on the cake if I could explore further in Southeast Asia and even Europe!
Please tell us a secret (or two).
I love driving. I used to go everywhere by car in Japan.
We are thrilled to have Mawaki as our regular columnist! Suss out beauty tips and tricks in Put Your Best Face Forward. Plus, check out behind-the-scenes footage of Mawaki X Guest Blogger-Model,Yukie of Tokyo Mode Addict in Beauty-Pati TV’s first makeup video!