Ahead of the Miss Universe Singapore 2021 finals happening on 17 September at 9pm, we caught up with the top eight finalists to find out more about their epic beauty fails, tried-and-true tips to get pageant-ready and beauty must-haves. Face vacuuming is just the beginning! Keep reading for more hacks from the pros who mastered the art of looking picture-perfect onstage.
The Miss Universe Singapore 2021 Finals will be livestreamed via The Front Row (https://www.thefrontrow.style/) on 17 September 2021, 9pm.
Skin prep before a big day: “I exfoliate my skin and use turmeric on my face three days prior to shoots.”
Skincare must-have: Hada Labo’s Hyaluronic Acid Lotion, $16
Hair-styling tips: “I barely use any heat on my hair. I apply argan oil after every hair wash and I am good to go.”
Backstage beauty trick: “I use ice cubes to de-puff my eyes before my shoots.”
Tip for long-lasting makeup: Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray, $50 (118ml)
Skin prep before a big day: “I make sure to take care of my skin the night before by applying a deep, rejuvenating night mask. In the morning, I apply a 10-minute mud mask — it leaves my skin feeling clean and firm. I also use the ice hack to help de-puff my eyes!”
Backstage beauty tip: “I run over my affirmations. It helps with my confidence.”
What’s in her makeup pouch: Sephora Flawless Face Palette, $36, Dior Backstage Foundation, $65, Tarte Maneater Voluptuous Mascara, $35,Givenchy Teint Couture Everwear Concealer, $52 and MAC Cosmetics FIX + Setting Spray, $39.
Craziest beauty fail: “I used to fill my eyebrows with a dark black shade and made them extra thick. Unsurprisingly, it did not go as expected. Through this experience, I’ve learnt to embrace my natural brows. Less is more.”
Beauty icon: “Bella Hadid.”
Skin prep before a big day: “I love to pamper my skin with a clay mask from LUSH the night before for that light exfoliation and to soften my skin. For that extra hydration and glow, I’ll use a sheet mask when I wake up the next morning. For last-minute zits, pimple patches and acne medication are my best friends!”
Makeup hacks: “I like to mix my foundation with my sunscreen to get a sheer coverage and instead of that heavy and cakey finish. I also use the same lipstick on my lips, cheeks and eyes for a quick and simple makeup routine.”
Makeup must-haves: “For makeup, I always have my LA girl pro concealer, $6.25 on hand to conceal under-eye circles and dark spots. For the rest of my makeup, I’ll use a lipstick/stain (Innisfree fruity squeeze lip tint, $17) and a light blush (NARS liquid blush, $52).”
What’s in her makeup pouch: Biore UV Spray, $9.90, Nivea Cherry Shine Caring Lip Balm, $3.50, Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Colour Powder, $10, Innisfree fruity squeeze lip tint, $17 and Benefit Cosmetics Hello Happy Velvet Powder Foundation, $52.
Hair-styling tip: “As my hair gets frizzy due to the humidity and is naturally a little dry, I love incorporating hair oils in my routine for that added shine and moisture. I also curl my hair lightly to give it that bounce and add some volume.”
Biggest beauty fail: “I tried using a face vacuum that I bought online as I was obsessed with extracting my blackheads, but it left my skin irritated for a few days. I definitely learnt not to trust beauty fixes I see online without consulting an aesthetician or doctor. I’ve also learnt to be extra gentle with my sensitive skin.”
Makeup hack: “If foundations are too heavy for you, switch to using just a concealer (only on areas where you need more coverage) and set it well.”
Skincare must-have: “The Ordinary. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, $14 is a favourite as it really helps to control my pimples and even out my skin tone.”
Backstage beauty trick: “Spraying hairspray on my palm and running it through my hair to keep all the flyaways/baby hairs in place.”
Advice to stay calm: “Be kind to yourself. Calm yourself down by talking to yourself like you would to a friend who is nervous.”
Biggest beauty fail: “Wearing the wrong foundation shade. I’ve learnt that it takes time to find the right products that work and to invest time in this process.”
Skin prep before a big day: “I usually put on a Lush fresh face mask the night before (my current favourite is Brush Strokes) and try to avoid eating any oily or salty foods. For last-minute zits, I always reach for oxy5 cream, $2.88 and let it sit overnight. That usually does the trick and if it fails, a Cosrx pimple patch, $5.01 is the way to go! I also definitely recommend drinking more water so that your skin gets the hydration it needs, especially if you have dry skin like me.
Makeup hacks: “Since I have dry skin under my eyes, I always put eye cream before my concealer so it stays on longer and does not crease. I also like to curl my straight lashes with a heated lash curler from IUIGA, $29.90.”
What’s in her makeup pouch: “The Tarte Shape Tape Cream Concealer, $42 for under-eye circles. Ever since I discovered this product, it has been a life-changer. I also always carry with me the KVD Beauty Tattoo Liner, $32 and TonyMoly Easy Touch brown eyeliner, $8.56 for on the go touch-ups. Recently, my favourite mascara has been the Benefit Bad Gal Mascara, $44 because it really lengthens and thickens my eyelashes without any clumping. I also really love the HOOLA caramel bronzer, $53. It works like a charm and gives me that ‘snatched’ look without the fuss of having to bake with a setting powder. The Fenty Gloss Bomb Cream in Fenty Glow, $33 is also great for days when I can’t decide on a lip colour.
For skincare, I use a Vichy’s moisturiser and sunscreen as they do not feel oily and greasy unlike some of the others that I have tried.”
Celebrity doppelgänger: “People have said that I look like Taylor Hill, although I can’t see the resemblance! There are also some people who’ve said that I look like Nia Atasha (@sleepylllama on Instagram).”
Beauty hacks: “I feel that a healthy lifestyle is the best way for good skin. I make sure to eat less oily foods, drink at least 2.5L of water a day, exercise regularly and destress whenever I need to. I use the L’Occitane Immortelle Reset Serum, $95 for acne scars and dark spots, which has worked well.”
Hair-styling tip: “I started “plopping” my wet hair into an old t-shirt with leave-in conditioner after showers and it makes my hair look effortlessly wavy and styled. If you have frizzy hair that seems uncontrollable, plopping is worth a try – it completely transformed mine!
Biggest beauty fail: “When I used more than one coat of waterproof mascara, my eyelashes started falling out. After that experience, I started using only non-waterproof mascaras because they are better for my lashes and the environment.
Long-lasting makeup tip: “Powder the under-eye area to prevent concealer from settling into the creases. Blotting paper is also great for mattifying oily eyelids.”
I will never leave home without…“My emergency bag. It contains tweezers, wet wipes, an eyebrow pencil, concealer and deodorant.”
Holy-grail product last-minute zits: “Origins Super Spot Remover Acne Treatment Gel, $21.99”
Makeup hack: “With long lashes, I always found that when applying mascara, it would transfer onto my eyelids and ruin my eyeshadow. Now, I’ve learnt to place a folded tissue between my eyelid and lashes when brushing on the product.”
Hair-styling tip: “I like to improve the blood circulation in my scalp with a gua sha comb.”
Favourite backstage beauty trick: “To avoid lipstick smudging on your teeth, a trick my mum taught me from her pageant days is to rub some vaseline on the front of your teeth.”
Biggest beauty fail: “When I was younger and started experimenting with false lashes, I would wear the biggest and longest lashes I could find. However, I didn’t know which style would best fit my eye shape. That being said, trial and error, I now know that a more natural and softer cat-eye complements me the most.”
Celebrity doppelgänger: “My mum tells me I look like the Chinese version of Rihanna.”
Beauty hack: “Castor oil is great for lengthening eyelashes or sparse eyebrows. As it can feel quite heavy, I usually apply it before I go to bed.”
Skincare must-have: “I’m a sucker for facial masks. One of my favourites has to be Dr. Jart’s Shake & Shot, $13. It is so fun to use as you get to mix the mask yourself and your face feels instantly refreshed.”
Celebrity doppelgänger: “I do get told I look like Lorde or have Zendaya vibes.”
Beauty icon: “No one in particular but I do enjoy seeing creative looks on Instagram. Some examples are @5ssmakeup and @drian_bautista.”
Long-lasting makeup tip: “Probably everyone has said this but Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray, $50 works wonders. And if my face gets itchy – I never scratch, just lightly tap.”
Text: Letty Seah/HerWorld