7 Minutes with Marco Castro of Nars on getting healthy, radiant-looking skin

Backstage beauty tips


By Wei Yeen Loh

7 Minutes with Marco Castro of Nars on getting healthy, radiant-looking skin

The inaugural Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Kuala Lumpur (MBFWKL) kicked off yesterday at Chin Woo Stadium, the first event of its kind in South East Asia that has brought in major international fashion designers such as Julien Macdonald, Sebastian Gunawan, Francis Libiran and more. On the opening evening, we snuck a peek backstage to check out what Nars makeup artist Marco Castro had in store for the beauty looks of the night. Specially flown in from New York City for this event, Castro is a longtime collaborator of François Nars and has worked with celebrities such as Naomi Campbell, Bella Hadid and Shakira. For yesterday evening, Castro created a chic simple yet subtle look for Indonesian couturier and fashion designer Sebastian Gunawan, the first name to open MBFWKL. 

Below, we had a quick chat with the makeup maestro on his inspiration behind this makeup look, Nars products he can’t live without, and his take on makeup trends at this day and age:

What was the inspiration behind this look?

For this show, I worked together with Sebastian. I saw his collection and wanted to help him envision his woman. So I made it a little bit more New York-inspired, with the emphasis on the eyes. The look incorporates a modern, smoky yet messy eye; sheer, beautiful skin; and healthy-looking cheeks and lips. It’s very simple on the rest of the face and the main focus is on the eyes. Sebastian’s work is very elaborate so I wanted to keep it chic but simple at the same time.

What kind of products are you using to achieve this look?

I used Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, which is my favourite. For the eyes, I used the Velvet Shadow Sticks in Reykjavik, Velvet Eyeliner in Mambo, Matte Eyeshadow in Bengali and Blondie as well. I didn’t want to do a typical black smoky eye so I used shades of grey and brown to achieve the look. 

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Do you think healthy-looking skin is a trend this time around?

I think it is more than a trend. It’s the way we are now. We have so much good technology put into skincare and foundations that it’s possible now to use very little or very natural products to give you glowing, beautiful, and even skin without looking like you have too much makeup on. It’s great because we don’t need to wear that much foundation anymore. I love that because I’m big on skin and complexion is very important for me. I always love natural-looking skin.

Tips on getting perfect skin?

Taking care of it is really important. A good diet is imperative, as whatever you put in your body shows on your skin. Also, having effective skincare products help. Cleansing and removing makeup is very important, and so is exfoliating on a regular basis. One that people often miss out on is hydrating the skin — both inside and out. 

Share with us your all-time favourite Nars products.

My all-time favourites have got to be the Moisture Cream — I can’t live without it. The Aqua Gel Luminous Mask is what I love to bring along when I travel. I usually apply it on my face before I hop into the plane, and I leave it on throughout the flight. It feels so good because it leaves your skin hydrated and radiant after. 

What are some photo-ready makeup tips?

Blotting helps — I don’t like to use too much powder. I usually use Pore & Shine Control Primer which is oil-free, and it’s amazing especially for the T-zone area. I use it all the time, not only for shows but for shoots also, and I use it myself as it helps control the oil on your skin and minimizes your pores at the same time. That really helps your makeup stay longer. 

What are some runway makeup trends that have translated to real life?

Brows are very important — that has translated to real life and it has stayed, and I think it’s great because I am a fan of natural-looking brows. For lips, I remembered bold, dark colours weren’t that big in Asia a couple of years ago. But I think that trend is becoming increasingly popular now. I’ve seen teenagers [in Asia] wearing all kinds of colours which is great, and I love that. Another one would be natural, radiant looking skin as I’ve mentioned earlier. We don’t need to use heavy coverage anymore because we have products available to make your skin look transparent and healthy.

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