Happy Chinese New Year! 新年快乐！身体健康！心想事成, everyone!
Chinese New Year is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional Chinese calendar. It is celebrated over 15 days and symbolizes a new beginning, a fresh start.
During CNY it is a blessing for both the giver and receiver of hong bao. Married couples give 红包 hóng bāo (red envelopes containing money), to their parents and unmarried individuals. For young children, it’s the time of the year they look forward to for a sudden windfall, on top of the freedom to eat as many pineapple tarts and bak kwa they wish.
Since Chinese New marks a fresh start, I decided to choose this joyful season to… commemorate my YouTube debut. Hoho.
This is my first ever video shot and edited by myself. I think I spent more than 500 hours just to get this video out because there were so many things I didn’t know.
There were plenty of ‘firsts’ to make this video.
First time using cream face paint, first time setting up studio lighting, first time recording myself with a DSLR, first time using Canon EOS Utility, first time making a video with professional editing software, first time recording a voiceover, first time navigating YouTube’s Creator Studio, and so much more!
To keep the length of the video to a comfortable duration, the content of the video and this blog post is a little different.
Now, on to this Chinese New Year face painting tutorial!
Cartoon characters usually have large facial features and just small strokes for brows, or none at all. Because I wanted a BIG smile on my face, I had to cover my brows completely.
Also, I’m celebrating the Year of the Dog with ponytails on both sides like a dog’s ears. HAHAHA!
If you ever need to cover your brows for whatever reason, perhaps cosplay, here’s a quick run-through of how you can cover thick, dark, coarse brows.
Make sure the skin is clean and not greasy. Remove all oils on the brows with rubbing alcohol poured onto a cotton pad. Then apply Pros-Aide, a medical grade adhesive, onto the brow hairs. Use a spoolie to comb through the hairs. In a few minutes the Pros-Aide will become tacky, then use an ice-cream stick to lightly pat down the hairs. Blow dry with cool air. If there are still hairs sticking out, repeat another layer of Pros-Aide. Pat in translucent powder and cover with a highly pigmented foundation.
From experimenting many times over the past few months, I discovered that Pros-Aide works better than Elmer’s Glue for my brows.
What I used:
KRYOLAN TV Paint Stick #NB (suitable for MAC NC 25)
This is my main reference picture. I took inspiration from others as well, but I used this the most. It’s a Chinese New Year decoration piece that most Chinese (and companies, because Singapore is a multi-racial country and we celebrate diversity) will decorate their homes with. This is 财神 cái shén, God of Fortune or God of Wealth.
I used the Make Up For Ever Flash Color Palette for the majority of this face painting episode. Love the vibrancy and intensity of every color in this flash palette! For this look, I used pink, red, black, white, brown.
You can paint it on directly, but I prefer to use a soft, creamy pencil that doesn’t drag on the skin to first sketch the outline. This way, I only need to focus on filling within the lines, instead of having to change the shape as go. Unless, of course, something doesn’t turn out right and……… you’ll see in a while!
What I used:
I threw on a rough first layer of cream paint just to see how the colors look together.
My new smiley eyes were drawn on with one of my all-time favorite liquid eyeliners. Gives me great control and is one of the blackest blacks around and this thing lasts forever! I’ve only bought the refill once over the past 3 years, and even though the brush and ink are still in tiptop condition.
It looks easy in the video but it took me 30 minutes just to get both eyes to look as symmetrical as possible! It’s almost the same as getting our wings to align on a daily basis, only 1000 times more intense.
Drawing a tiny nose with a tiny brush was a challenge too! I could’ve just drawn a stroke or a button for a nose, but I wanted something more realistic. If I could do it over again (which I wouldn’t LOL), I would leave out the black nose strip, so that I can rest my hand on my nose for more support. My hand was shaking so much hahaha. But I did it and it was such an achievement coz the nose turned out really nice! Put all my shading and highlighting techniques here
I first applied a concealer 2 shades lighter to mark the shape, then outlined the nostrils and sides of the nose with brown and black. Then I used dark brown eyeshadow to create shadows on the nose bridge and highlighted down the nose with a shimmery nude liquid liner.
What I used:
I applied the pinkest blush I have to emulate cartoon rosy cheeks.
My oily skin was peeking through the black cream paint and was starting to look gross so I applied a dark matte grey eyeshadow over it. I should go get myself some matte black eyeshadow. I remember MUG Corrupt was a favorite of mine. I think I threw it out when we moved house. =(
What I used:
MAKE UP STORE Midnight Hour Palette (discontinued)
Despite the unapologetically happy smile, I wasn’t happy with the character’s lower lip coz it looked like there was too much going on with my real lip boundaries messing with the illusion. So instead of settling for it, I redrew the lower parts.
I brought the tongue all the way down to cover the entire upper lip, used my lower lip as the character’s lower teeth and drew the lips under my real lips.
Then I added highlight dots on the cheeks and lower lip.
This is exactly how my mum used to do my hair during Chinese New Year when I was a little girl – ponytails on both sides and colorful pussy willows decorating the band.
Here, I also curled the heck out of my bangs with hair rollers to get them so curly hohoho.
What I used:
A New Beginning On YouTube
I love blogging – writing will always be my greatest love, but for the past year, I felt detached from it. 🙁 A ‘beauty slump’, perhaps? I yearned for change and I like a good challenge. Besides, I’ve always had questions from readers asking or telling me I should make videos, so……… I decided to give it a shot!
The satisfaction and sense of achievement derived from overcoming technical difficulties, completing and publishing a video, are PRICELESS. The amount of time and effort poured into it, all that hustling, I felt were worth it when I clicked the Publish button for my very first self-produced video. I even used my phone to take a video of me clicking on the Publish button HAHAHA.
Besides working on improving and acquiring new makeup skills, I had to work very hard at learning how to use professional editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Audacity. I had ZERO prior experience. I had absolutely nothing but determination and dedication (and the willingness to sacrifice a lot of sleep lol).
Yes, I’ve used iMovie before, and it is definitely possible to produce decent quality videos with it, but I craved for MORE. I wanted to equip myself with new skills, higher level skills; I wanted to have control over what I produce and didn’t want to be bound by the limitations of iMovie.
This YT account has been around since… 2012? But it was just… there.
The idea of reviving my YouTube channel came to me in July 2017. I wasn’t sure whether it’s something I should pursue, so over the course of several months, I watched beauty videos, editing videos, animation videos, sound videos. I made sure to learn something new every single day.
Of course, I am still farrrrrr from being professional and I don’t know if people will be interested in what I produce, but so far the response from friends has been positive. I mean, at least I know I tried my best given my current skill set and I’m proud of my work!
I never knew how tedious, how challenging, yet FUN making a video would be. Now, it’s my new addiction. Look forward to more soon! Please support me with a like, share, or sub! Thanks for the love! ❤