September 27, 2016

Here’s one of the easiest way to while away several hours at one go: fall into the deep, dark hole that is YouTube beauty tutorials. These online beauty lessons have brought a whole new level of accessibility to beauty and made plenty of regular people into internet stars, and we’ve learnt so many handy tricks from watching hours of these. Some go viral for good reason, like when unassuming makeup products in the skillful hands of these YouTubers lead to jaw-dropping transformations into pop culture’s most recognisable faces. These are our favourite tutorials for if you want to look like some of the biggest musicians of today – it’s time to level up those blending skills.


Lana del Rey

When we think of a celeb who embodies our ultimate eyeliner goals, the “Summertime Sadness” star is definitely one of those who come to mind. Since Lana del Rey burst onto the scene, we’ve been inspired to draw our eyeliner a little thicker and make the flicks a little longer, to evoke the retro aesthetic that del Rey has made her signature.

Maya Mia is a makeup artist based in Tanzania in East Africa, who has amassed an online following for her weekly YouTube makeup tutorials. Her “Lana Del Rey Makeup Tutorial” posted two years ago is one of her most-watched videos (upwards of six million views currently); probably because her tutorial focuses on how to copy the dramatic eyeliner and accompanying cut crease à la Lana with clear steps that are easy to follow.

Maya’s tips:
• Create the defined crease with brown eyeshadow, but do it slowly so it looks natural – gradually build up the colour by picking up a small amount with an eyeshadow blending brush each time.
• Apply the black gel liner starting from the outside corners of the eyes, working inwards. Start with drawing the lines as close to the lashlines as possible, and then slowly thickening it.
• Add colour to the skin with bronzer and highlighter, and skip out on the blush – Lana del Rey’s signature looks hardly feature flushed cheeks.
• Fake del Rey’s full lips by overlining and filling in the lips with a nude lip pencil. Finish by adding lipstick in a similar nude tone in the centre of the lips for extra shine.


For this look, try:
Sephora Colourful 5 Eye Contouring in 16 Medium, $36, Sephora; Dior Rouge Dior in 219 Rose Montaigne, $49, Dior Counters; shu uemura Painting Liner in M Black, $36, shu uemura stores and counters; Stila Stay All Day Lip Liner in Pink Moscato, $32, Sephora; Zoeva 315 Fine Liner, $12.99,


Miley Cyrus

(Screenshot credit: Anastasiya Sphagina. Watch the video here)

Since she left her Disney days behind her, Miley Cyrus has been unafraid to show the world how daring she can be when it comes to many things, including her beauty looks. From a shocking red lip to double mini topknots, to blonde dreadlocks paired with blue eyeliner, she’s definitely made a grand entrance numerous times. But the turning point that marked her official transition from the wholesome Hannah Montana to the twerking, pastie- wearing, armpit hair-dyeing headline-grabber she is today was back in 2012, when she shaved her hair into a short crop with an undercut and dyed it blonde, and declared on Twitter that “I’ve never felt more like myself!”

Ukrainian YouTuber and master of transformation Anastasiya Shpagina turned herself into 2013-era Cyrus in a “Miley Cyrus makeup tutorial” video from almost three years ago, complete with tips on how to alter a blonde wig into an undercut and fake brown roots with eyeshadow and water. By the end, a convincing enough Cyrus lookalike strikes poses on our screen – no wonder this video already has four million views and counting.

Anastasiya’s tips:
• You can choose to hide your eyebrows with concealer and draw over them with brown shadow like she did, but keep them looking natural by using a brown brow pencil to fake brow hairs with quick, short strokes.
• Load up on the mascara – she coated her natural lashes with it, before putting on fake upper and lower lashes and proceeding to apply more mascara on those too.
• A contouring palette is your best friend for faking Cyrus’ facial contours. Apply a contouring shade on the sides of the nose and a concealer in a lighter shade on the bridge; give the top and bottom of the nose extra definition with a brown eye pencil, then blending well.


For this look, try:
Cover FX Contour Kit, $74, Sephora; Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Creme in 200 Oh Miley!, $42, Sephora; Nudestix Sculpting Pencil, $37, Sephora; MAKE UP FOR EVER Lash Show Natural Impact N-101, $34, Sephora; Shiseido Makeup Full Lash Multi-Dimension Mascara Waterproof in BK901, POA, Shiseido counters from Oct.



It doesn’t get more legit than getting Adele’s actual makeup artist of nine years to do a tutorial on how to nail the chanteuse’s signature look. That’s what Lisa Eldridge, the famed British makeup artist who has amassed quite a following on YouTube for her beauty tutorials, has done for this particular video by inviting Michael Ashton to come on as a guest makeup artist.

If we had to choose one most identifiable part of Adele’s regular makeup, our answer will always be her extremely on-point eyeliner. It doesn’t extend outwards as dramatically as Lana del Rey’s, but it is drawn on thick with razor-sharp flicks at the end, and always paired with long and voluminous lashes. There’s also the skillful contouring that helps further define Adele’s already-gorgeous bone structure. No wonder this video has been watched more than two million times since being uploaded in April this year – we’ll definitely be watching and pressing replay, if the man who’s been creating this look for almost 10 years is giving us tips.

Michael’s tips:
• Apply the gel liner on the back of your hand before drawing it onto the eyes, to allow it to dry out a bit so it’s easier to manipulate.
• Clean up the ends of the eyeliner flicks with cotton buds dipped in micellar water.


For this look, try:
Bobbi Brown City Collection New York Palette, $104, Bobbi Brown stores and counters; Laura Mercier Creme Eye Liner in Noir, $42, Laura Mercier counters and Sephora; Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eye Pen, $35, Urban Decay stores and Sephora; Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, $19.90, Watsons and Guardian


Lady Gaga

It would be hard to narrow down Lady Gaga’s “look” to a single description, since she makes a strong statement with practically every high-profile public appearance. Everyone remembers that meat dress, and her arrival in an alien egg carried by a bevy of models to the Grammys one year; Gaga transforms each appearance into practically a piece of performance art, and somehow always looks like she’s just stepped out of a somewhat crazy music video.

Michelle Phan, NYLON Singapore cover girl and makeup maestro, chose to emulate the curly-haired, googly-eyed look from Gaga’s “Bad Romance” music video in this 2010 YouTube video that has racked up a jaw-dropping 53 million views to date. The reason why it’s gone so viral: while Gaga’s anime-like eyes in the video were obviously created with CGI, Phan has managed to enlarge her eyes to about three times their original size with just makeup. But should you want to use fancy computer programmes to do the same, Phan even teaches you where to dot your face with eyeliner, to map out the right points for CGI to work its magic and leave you with those computer-generated scarily large eyes.

Michelle’s tips:
• Put on the false lashes before the eye makeup, as it’s easier to define the eye shape first before using white liner on the waterlines to widen the eyes afterwards.
• Purple eyeshadow applied under the browbone help to enlarge the eyes as well, as it creates more depth.
• After tightlining under the eyes with a white pencil eyeliner, further extend the waterlines by going over with another white shadow or liner, to create thicker lines that extend outwards.


For this look, try:
M.A.C Pro Longwear Waterproof Colour Stick in Flat White, $41, M.A.C stores and counters; Sephora Outrageous Eyeshadow in 05 Shocking Berry, $22, Sephora; Sephora Colorful Blush in 05 Sweet On You!, $22, Sephora; Marc Jacobs Beauty Fineliner Ultra-Skinny Gel Eye Crayon in (Big) Eyes!, $35, Sephora


Ariana Grande

Neutral eyes, subtle eyeliner flicks, perfectly matte skin, mauve lips and of course, that high ponytail – that sums up the beauty look Ariana Grande has become known for. Another Disney star that has underdone a complete image makeover since her kid TV days, she’s managed to straddle the line between “sweet” and “sexy”.

That’s evident in her music video for “Focus”, the inspiration behind American beauty vlogger Jessica Vill’s, better known as Jbunzie, YouTube video “Ariana Grande Transformation – Focus Makeup”, which shows how to copy the two different looks Grande sports in the video. Both are close to her classic style, but the difference is in subtle colour changes on the eyes and lips. True Grande fans will definitely be able to appreciate how accurate Jbunzie gets in this tutorial.

Jbunzie’s tips:
• Use a foundation stick in a lighter shade to conceal and contour, but to blend, pat it into the skin – don’t swipe it.
• To get the glittery shadow to go on more opaque, press it into the skin with an eyeshadow brush.
• Both lip looks require layering of quite a few products. They involve redefining the lip shape with a lip liner that’s darker than your natural lip colour, and a matte lipstick in a flesh tone to tie the various colours together.


For this look, try:
NYX Avant Pop Palette in Nouveau Chic, $32, Sephora; Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick, $72, Sephora; Stila Stay All Day Lip Liner in Zinfandel, $32, Sephora; M.A.C Viva Glam Ariana Grande 2 Lipstick, $33, M.A.C stores and counters; Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation, $62, Urban Decay stores and Sephora



How does one look like Queen Bey? According to this “How To Look Like Beyoncé” video by Promise Phan, a beauty YouTuber with a knack for transforming herself into famous faces, it takes a whole lot of skillful face contouring, eyeshadow blending, and carefully-placed shimmer. The eight-minute tutorial may be short, but it’s packed with plenty of steps – achieving Bey-level perfection takes effort, after all.

We wouldn’t say Beyoncé has a “signature look” – it would be more accurate to say she just looks “Flawless” all the time. That usually involves radiant skin paired with a bold lip or a perfectly-blended eye, or both; in the case of this 2013 video by Phan, it meant lots of contouring and bronzing, and an intricate blue smokey eye, topped off with a head of honey curls.

Promise’s tips:
• Highlight the cheekbones, centre of the forehead, nose and upper lip and chin with a concealer in a lighter shade, to get those areas to stand out more.
• Start off with applying a shimmery white eyeshadow liberally on the inside corners of the eyes, to catch the light there.
• Create lots of definition on the eyes by contrasting the white shadow with a dark one, such as a navy blue or brown applied under the browbones.
• For extra sparkle, add silver liquid eyeliner on top of the eyeshadow on the lids.


For this look, try:
ETUDE HOUSE Big Cover Concealer BB, $26.90, ETUDE HOUSE stores; M.A.C Studio Quiktrik Stick, $62, M.A.C stores and counters; Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Static Age, $32, Sephora; NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Arcturus, $45, NARS counters and Sephora; Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Liquid Liner in Night Sky Sparkle, $47, Bobbi Brown store and counters


Sun Ho

Easily the most ingenious makeup tutorial ever to emerge from local YouTube channels – Xiaxue’s take on Sun Ho’s “super trendy” makeup look from her “Mr. Bill” music video for the Xiaxue’s Guide To Life webshow on Clicknetwork had us in stitches, and hitting the replay button a few times (especially from the 4:23 mark).

With those fierce arched brows, “serpentine” eyeshadow with three shades of green, and dramatic cut creases, Xiaxue reminds us that the whole idea of this look is to go ahead and pile it all on — if you think you’re starting to look wayang, then you’re doing it right. It’s all a bit much to copy for an everyday look, but then again… Halloween is coming up at the end of this month, after all.

Xiaxue’s tips:
• Cover up your natural eyebrows with concealer, and then draw on some seriously arched thin ones with black or dark brown liquid eyeliner.
• Connect your eyeshadow to the inner corner of your brows for an avant-garde look – this also means you don’t need to contour your nose bridge!
• Apply blush all around the sides of your face, extending all the way up to your forehead. Throw beauty conventions out the window here.


For this look, try:
Yves Saint Laurent Beaute Kiss & Blush in No. 18 Rose Provocant, $50, Yves Saint Laurent Beaute stores and counters; Too Faced Sketch Marker Liquid Art Liner in Charcoal Black, $32, Sephora; M.A.C Trend Forecast Spring ’17 Eye Palette, $72, M.A.C stores and counters; By Terry Rouge-Expert Click Stick in No. 14 Rouge Initation, $47, escentials; NYX Avant Pop Palette in Art Throb, $32, Sephora



Main image: Screenshot courtesy Clicknetwork