Geraldine, you went from computer programming to being a successful makeup artist. How did that happen?
I graduated and was going to look for a job but it was during the market crash back in the 80s and there were no jobs available. So I decided to help out at my friend’s beauty salon doing simple facials for her customers.
I even took on auditing jobs for Motorola. Then I came across a job listing by a prestigious Japanese company looking to hire beauty consultants – no experience needed but free training and full grooming course would be provided. I thought, fantastic! I’ll just learn from the free training and leave upon completion. I stayed in the company for 13 years.
During that time, I was constantly trained by the best in the industry. For makeup, we were trained by chief makeup artist on how to apply makeup, product trainer on how to use a product, and scientists to learn about the product’s breakthrough ingredients. I was learning things I never thought I’d learn. But I was also working almost 13 hours a day and it came to a point where my health was at risk, physically and mentally.
I knew I had to resign but I still loved my job so much. So the only way was to go freelance in the beauty industry so I can work at my own pace. Funnily enough, freelance wasn’t even a thing back then and I didn’t even know how to bill customers or promote myself. Luckily, my customers still looked for me and that’s how I built my career as a freelance makeup artist.
You’ve been in the business for 27 years. How has it changed over the years?
The digital era has made everything move so fast. We’ve become trend followers and not trendsetters. What is Malaysian beauty today? I don’t know who or what to refer to for that. We have a long way to go. The next generation of makeup artists need to exert themselves and push for what is creative without worrying about what other people think. If you don’t roll the dice you won’t get the six, right?
I don’t know who or what to refer to for that.
How do you think your career has shaped you?
It has taught me not to be lazy. I built my career before the digital era, before Photoshop and Instagram were a common thing. When I apply makeup for shoots, I make it as perfect and as refined as possible because the polaroids and films don’t lie so you can’t fake the colour fidelity. No matter how advanced technology will get, and it will be really advanced, I know I have the skills strong enough that I don’t have to depend on digital touchups.
Speaking of technology, what’s your take on beauty technology like fillers, botox, and other facial rejuvenations? Not a fan?
I believe natural beauty is still the best. Adequate sleep is your best anti-ageing weapon stronger than any botox or fillers. But having said that, if a little facial rejuvenation helps to build a woman’s confidence, I’d say go for it.
And I rarely encounter true beauty these days as most women have undergone cosmetic enhancement. So I often find myself wondering which features have been altered as I work on their makeup. Great thing is, I save up on highlighters and contouring powder. It makes my job easier but as an artist, it has taken away my satisfaction of seeing the “before and after” effects of well-applied makeup.
OK then, you’ve seen it all in beauty, so what are the best beauty tips to maintain one’s natural beauty?
Get your daily 8 hours of quality sleep and 8 glasses of water. Go for a nature retreat whenever possible. No tech stuff, no newspapers, no nothing. You’d be amazed at the wonders a solid retreat can do to your skin.
The quote you live by
In whatever you do, be truthful in your work and to yourself. “Do your job to its best. People will recognise that and promote your work”
Geraldine Roy’s favourite products?
A multi-tasking lotion that cleanses, rebalances and detoxifies the skin.
Gold infused cooling gel preps skin with moisture and it’s great as makeup base. It smoothes fine lines and tightens face for a slight uplifting effect.
Interesting gentle exfoliator that doesn’t use harsh granules, just floral water and organic oil.
An artist palette of 13 Correctors, 14 Creamy Concealers and 20 shades of foundation.
An illuminating lightweight liquid foundation that’s easy to apply with its built-in brush.
Long lasting and multi-tasking. This creamy eye shadow can be used as a highlighter or to create a smokey look.
Simply a liner that goes the extra mile with its precision line brush and liquid that doesn’t smudge. Seriously long lasting.
A mascara and primer in one, this ones gives lashes a good lengthening effect.
A high gloss + semi matte lipstick gives lips a juicy two-toned and glossy effect.
The ultimate precision in eyelash curling, this mini curler gets every lash to bend at its will, yes even the ones at the hard-to-reach corners.
Geraldine Loy, Makeup Artist