Hong Kong born and bred Ryuko Lau is the city’s first ever M.A.C Cosmetics Senior Artist. She began her career in 2007 as a trainer, swiftly progressing up the ranks before making history in 2012. The young artist, who abounds with passion for her craft and her company, is based in Hong Kong, but she constantly flies off to assist the Mac Pro Team with international fashion shows and major photoshoots around the world. We caught up with her after she debuted the company’s new, dramatic Kabuki line, to talk about the industry, her makeup pet-peeves and more.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Kabuki line?
This line is amazing, it’s daring, bright, opaque, eye catching and very artistic. The products are mostly for professional make-up artists, but you can use them at home too. The bright green and blue paints make great eyeliners, they last forever and won’t smudge.
What makeup trends have you been seeing on the runways this season?
It’s all about realness, like real skin tones and real skin textures. I’m seeing more natural looks—which I love—with a light, creamy foundation to just enhance the skin instead of covering it up. There are a lot of no makeup-makeup looks as well, but of course, those always take the most effort!
Watch Ryuko create a dramatic look with the new Kabuki products:
Do you work with any male models?
Yes! We always support the male fashion shows. The thing I love most about Mac is that it’s for all ages, races, and sexes, everyone is beautiful. I love the looks that trans-men are creating right now, because the looks are so dramatic, we [Mac] love all the colours, and support them 100% for their openness and courage.
Any tips for transitioning a day look to night?
During the day, I smudge a bit of eyeliner, to soften the line, then add a grey eyeshadow to enlarge my eyes and define the shape. Add a neutral lip, mascara or lashes and that’s it! I always use the Quick Finish Cushion Compact, so I don’t have to worry about touch-ups during the day. Before going out I’ll add a transparent finishing powder for oil control, blend out the eyeshadow from the morning, and add some more liner. I love highlighting my t-zone, because it creates a classy look that’s much easier than contouring. I also love a bold lip, like our Russian Red or Lady Danger.
What’s the makeup trend you’d love to see disappear?
Nothing! Cat eye, bold lip, everything – keep all of it! Actually, it is a bit strange when I see people wearing Instagram makeup, the trends are beautiful online, but I think maybe do 70% and then you’ll look great and comfortable when you go out.
If you could only use 5 products, what would they be?
Prep + Prime Fix moisturising spray, I always bring it with me, especially on planes, Lightful Softening Lotion to take away the dead skin and get a natural glow; the Quick Finish Cushion Compact for high coverage and a matte finish, and of course my Lip Conditioner, I can’t go without it, lastly I’d need either a mascara or a lipstick!
Follow Ryoku Lau on Instagram @Ryukomac.