Selena Gomez’s makeup artist, Hung Vanngo, shares 19 makeup tips that will change your life


By Redzhanna Jazmin

Selena Gomez’s makeup artist, Hung Vanngo, shares 19 makeup tips that will change your life

Vietnamese makeup artist Hung Vanngo had been working as a hairdresser in his hometown in Canada (a place called Calgary; you may have heard of it) until he had the age-old realisation that, despite what the print said on his degree, hairstyling wasn’t his passion.

“I went to school as a hairdresser and they had a makeup station in the first salon I worked in. That’s where I realised that makeup was my true passion,” muses Vanngo. “It was hard, though. When I started out, I couldn’t make a living in Calgary. So, I moved to Toronto so I could start a full-time career as a makeup artist without having to work two jobs. Then, I decided to move to New York.”

That was fifteen years ago. Fast forward to present day, and we reckon it’s safe to say that Vanngo has truly made a name for himself in the industry, with 2.1 million followers on Instagram and an impressive clientele that includes the likes of Selena Gomez, Kate Moss, and Deepika Padukone. Renowned for his playful creations that balance vibrant colour and effortlessly beautiful complexions, it’s clear why he’s so highly sought after.

With that in mind, it was an absolute privilege to pick his brain for some real pro-tips—if you’re looking for some great advice for your next full face (whenever that may be), Vanngo has you covered.

Ahead, find the artist’s 19 tips to absolutely perfect makeup every time:


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A post shared by Hung Vanngo (@hungvanngo)

TIP #1: Keep your prep simple

I start with moisturiser, eye cream and lip balm, then I go in with a silicone-free primer. I just press it into the skin with a brush, mainly in the centre area of the face where the pores are most obvious.”

READ: It’s prime time: 9 Customisable skin primers that will revolutionise your makeup routine

TIP #2: Strip back the base

“I think it’s a waste of skin if I cover it up with too much foundation and then add extra concealer over the top. For clients with good skin, I usually use a little bit of the tinted moisturiser, applying it mainly on the centre of the face, blending it outwards.

“If you need more coverage I would recommend using more concealer. If I had to pick the most important product in my makeup bag, I would choose concealer. It’s the most important product for us to feel comfortable. If you do decide to wear a full coverage foundation, take care not to put too much concealer on, I think both concealer and high coverage foundation together can make the skin look too heavy and cakey.”

TIP #3: Shade matching is the most important step in covering acne…

“The best way to cover pimples so that it doesn’t make it look too noticable is to choose a concealer that is the same shade as your foundation. When people try to cover their acne using the same shade that they used to brighten their undereyes, the pimple will be more visible because the colour isn’t matched to the foundation.”


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A post shared by Hung Vanngo (@hungvanngo)

TIP #4: If you’re trying to cover pitted scars or texture on your skin, powder is your best friend…

For covering texture, remember that shine exaggerates scarring, so you definitely want to keep the skin matte. For pitted scars, you should put a brightening (AKA lighter) concealer on top before powdering—anything that attracts light. Pitted scars go into the skin, so they need more light to bring them forward and even out the skin tone.”

READ: How to cover acne and scarring with makeup on all skin tones, according to Keke Palmer and a pro makeup artist

TIP #5: Use a lighter setting powder to brighten and a true match to set…

I set the under eyes using a light loose powder (though it also works great with pressed powders). It’s the same concept as the concealer; you should be using lighter powders to brighten and matching powders to correct. Or, if you can’t be bothered, then you can also just use [the] one (laughs).”


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A post shared by Hung Vanngo (@hungvanngo)

TIP #6: Reserve baking for the red carpet, or for when you really want an airbrushed look…

To be honest, I did not like baking until I started doing red carpet looks. Beforehand, I had only ever worked in fashion, where everyone was against both baking and heavy makeup. But now I’m for it—baking is the only way to give the client that flawless, airbrushed under eye. Especially nowadays, with things like the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, even if you bake heavily and then brush it off at the end, it really doesn’t look heavy at all. The technique really blurs texture to give a nice look under the eye.”

SHOP: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

TIP #7: Save your compacts for touch-ups…

“For all skin types, a compact is great for touch-ups. But while I’m doing makeup, I’ll mostly use a brush and a loose setting powder, or I’ll go in with a really small puff and a pressed powder and I’ll set around the areas that crease and leave the rest natural.”

READ: Laneige’s new cushion compact is the first in the world that offers blue light protection

TIP #8: Don’t just slap bronzer on anywhere and everywhere…

I usually apply bronzer on the perimeter of the face. If you use it everywhere you lose the dimension of what you’ve created with the brightening step. Bronzer is just for adding warmth and for sculpting.”

READ: Are bronzers made for everyone? Here’s why it deserves a spot in your makeup bag


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