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updated 1 Sep 2014, 19:12
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Mon, Feb 18, 2013
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Visionary vixen
by Louisa Lim

While we don't deny the staying power of certain make-up techniques - smoky eyes, scarlet lips, you know the drill - they may have become so predictable that they barely elicit a second glance. To make a real statement, you might need to take a few chances - a creative leap into the unknown.

Creative make-up has come a long way since the advent of blue lips and coloured mascaras. From dazzling decals to fun manicures and fantasy eyelashes, these new generation products scream sassy femme fatale with their innovative takes and sheer boldness. There are no boundaries when it comes to applying these new techniques; only an active imagination - and, occasionally, a sense of fun and humour - is needed.

Designers are also taking the road less travelled by employing these graphic, extravagant looks on the runways. Peter Philips, Chanel's creative director of make-up for instance, used stone-encrusted rectangular mesh panels glued over the models' natural arches for Chanel's runway show last season, while Thierry Mugler complemented his Mugler Fall 2012 collection with 3D stick-on nails on his models.

However, chief make-up artist for Shu Uemura, Lisa Yap, warns that creative make-up is not as versatile as, say, iridescent lips.

"You need to be very careful with the choice of colours used, shades and intensity of the overall hue and design combination," she says. "Face structure is also very crucial in identifying the final look you'd like to achieve. Just like how different hairstyles suit different face shapes, the same goes for make-up."

According to Yap, the androgynous face can carry a wider range of stylised looks, from chic to over-the-top mien. Meanwhile, women with square and round faces should stick to a subtler version and focus on bringing out their best facial features, be it eyes, lips or nose.

For those who may be too shy to embrace the trend for fear of looking like Lady Gaga, take heart. Yap recommends incorporating a standout pair of falsies - she swears by Shu Uemura ones - for your everyday repertoire because it isn't "overly avant-garde".

"Such a simple technique can make a world of a difference," she says.

Creative make-up is easier than you think. "Like everything else, practice makes perfect. All one needs is to find one's inspiration, focus on a theme and translate it onto one's 'canvas' - the face."

To kick-start your mind's eye, here's a list of uber cool products that have stolen our breaths and hearts.

Best face forward

What

Lacking in artistic abilities but want rock face art à la Ziggy Stardust? Check out Face Lace, a line of a non-fade, non-smudge and reusable range of stickers that create the appearance of lace adornment on your visage. Created by make-up artist Phyllis Cohen, who, incidentally, has worked with creative geniuses like David Bowie and Annie Lennox, the collection is available in mehndi-like patterns, masquerade-style masks and dozens of other lush designs.

How

Made of a thin vinyl with hypoallergenic adhesive backing, simply peel off these intricate designs, stick them onto your face and, voila, step out looking like a million bucks! There are also playsheets of small patterns that allow you to invent your own Face Lace designs.

Available at face-lace.com. Prices range from £9.96 (S$19.96) to £29.95.

We also love

Star stickers for the face, designed by French editor, stylist and image maker Carine Roitfeld for M.A.C Cosmetics. Stick these on, and decorate them with colour or glitz. Simple, fuss-free and idiot-proof!

Mouth off

What

Usually, fun and funky lip looks involve tonnes of lip-gloss. Thank goodness this is no longer true - hailed as the "future of lipstick" by Allure magazine, the Violent Lips Collection is a statement-making line of lip patterns. Vitamin enhanced with a smooth feel and glossy finish, the appliqués are FDA-approved and easy to apply to lips of all sizes, lasting up to eight hours. There are bold animal prints and fun polka dots, sexy fishnets and Glitteratti sparkle patterns, so take your pick and let your lips - not eyes - do the talking for real!

How

Remove the appliqué from its stencil and cut to your lip measurements using the horizontal and vertical guides on the back of the lips. The rest is easy: apply the appliqué, then seal and smoothen it with a generous amount of water. Remove at the end of the evening with mineral or baby oil and a textured wipe.

Available at violentlips.com. Prices start from US$6.39 onwards.

We also love

GlitzyLips, made by Athena Elliott, a nail technician who decided that you could have the same shine and texture of Minx nail decals - on your lips!

Whip and lash

What

Pretty peepers festooned with unicorns and genuine gem stones - how kawaii is that? Introducing Eyelash Jewelry, the brainchild of 21-year-old Canadian native Natalie Russo. It is, as its name suggests - all the beads, wire, feathers, and tiny clay charms that go into Russo's irreverent works of art that are wearable. Each one is fixed onto an ultra thin wire to create a light-weight, flexible band that can be formed to the shape of any eye. There's even glow-in-the-dark ones, in case you're a raver who likes to party like its 1979.

How

Simply bend the jewellery into the proper shape, apply a thin layer of adhesive, and press it directly above your eyelashes.

Avaialble at etsy.com/shop/EyelashJewelry#. Prices start from US$7 to US$30.

We also love

Shu Uemura's fluffy, rainbow Blossom Dream eyelashes, crafted by international chief make-up artist Yuji Asano after being inspired by the colours of blooming flowers. Inspired by the art of Chinese paper-cutting, there's also Paperself's pretty paper eyelashes, in all black, looking baroque and beautiful (paperself.com/psall.html).

Nailing it

What

Apparently, fish eggs look good on more than sushi. The Denesy Caviar Manicure comes with matching micro pearlescent caviar beads, so you can start flashing your three-dimensional talons. Available in 18 vibrant single and contrasting colours, it's part feminine, part indulgent and very delicately extravagant.

How

It's a two-step process. First, apply two layers of nail polish on the finger. Next, dip your finger into the jar of caviar to create the unique effect and leave your nails to completely dry for 15 to 20 minutes. Or, the version from Ciate Manicure gives a different mode of delivery whereby the caviar beads are just poured onto the nails and pressed on evenly. The rest can be stored back into the bottle for future use.

Denesy is available at Sasa boutiques nationwide at RM21.90 while Ciate is sold at Sephora stores at RM82.

We also love

Nicole by OPI's new Texture Coat creates a trendy shattered effect when applied over the first coat of nail lacquer. Contrasting colours are cool, but optional.

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