Just wanted to share with you my journey as a beauty enthusiast that has allowed me to be sponsored for a media trip abroad ✈️ ✈️ ✈️
Never thought that I'd be picked to represent my country to cover international beauty news, yet here I am, SUPER GRATEFUL that I have been the opportunity to do so!
Recently, I've had the most amazing opportunity to accompany Mary Kay Cosmetics all the way to
🇭🇰 Hong Kong for their Dream Beautiful™ event!
It was a 3D2N trip, so you could say it was pretty rushed!
I was there as part of the media team from Malaysia (I was one of three media reps, being the only blogger) and I also managed to rope in my boyfriend to be part of the trip 😃
Here are some teaser photos of what to expect from the trip --
Private interview with huge international superstars!
Behind the scenes with world-acclaimed photographer,
One-on-one coaching by makeup maestro,
.... not forgetting fun times together with other finalists!
If you have spotted any familiar faces from the pictures,
I'm sure you know that this event is definitely
A HUGE DEAL.
More than 50,000 aspiring models from Asia Pacific, namely Australia & New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Taiwan -- from all walks of life teamed up with a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant to participate in the Dream Beautiful™ Contest.
Out of all these women, only 23 pairs (1 Mary Kay Beauty Consultant + 1 aspiring model) of Dream Beautiful™ made it as finalists. So Malaysia managed to send 2 pairs while Singapore sent 1 pair to Hong Kong for this finale event. The media and finalists from both Malaysia and Singapore were grouped together to make our arrangements easier (I also got to befriend the finalists here).
Scroll more to read on my adventure!
We hardly had any sleep the night before because we had a really late night (or you could say that we were really psyched for our impending trip)!!
We boarded a huge boeing plane with Malaysian Airlines from KLIA1 and had window seats yay
The flight from KL to HK took 4 hours and there was so much waiting time in between. International check ins need at least 2 hours prior to departure and upon landing, we need to queue for immigration entry and luggage collection.
When we exited from the Hong Kong airport gates, we needed to set our priorities straight -- FOOD.
And we went to the most familiar fast food chain in the world --
Surprise, surprise! McD's in HK serves SALAD, how healthy zomg!
But we went for some fried chicken there.
(Not the same like Ayam Goreng McD in Malaysia but it was mighty good too!
Super fresh and tender, we like!
And we had this before the whole Ayam Goreng hype okayyyyy lol.)
Soon we checked into Intercontinental Hotel HK, the one at Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui overlooking the waters.
Upon checking in hotel, we had a brief interview session with the finalists from Malaysia and Singapore.
Aspiring Models from Left:
Ooi Wei Hsing (MY), Mahirah Shah Khan (MY), Lim Jia Min (SG)
Ooi Wei Hsing with her MK Beauty Consultant, Lim B'Shen
(somehow Wei Hsing reminded me of HK Actress Miriam Yeung!)
Models with their MK Beauty Consultants from Left:
Lim B'Shen, Ooi Wei Hsing, Mahirah Shah Khan, Lorraine Ramadas, Lim Jia Min, Florinda Tay
After the brief introduction of the finalists, it was finally time for dinner!
Day 1 ended!
Too exhausted from lack of rest the night before and all-day airport-hotel trasnfers, phew.
Some of the girls went to Mong Kok for shopping but BF and I were to exhausted so we went back to the hotel for some snooze time.
😴 😴 😴
After a hearty breakfast buffet, it's time to meet the esteemed judges of MK Dream Beautiful!
First up, we got a personal one-on-one time with the one and only,
She looks surreal in person.
Like a moving doll.
If you have seen any of her video interviews, she's a fun candid person who speaks her mind!
I was so honoured to meet her.
She carries herself well, sits gracefully in front of the camera, answering all questions posed to her with a genuine smile.
Coco casually mentioned that her fave Mary Kay item happens to be Mary Kay Gel Semi-Matte in Rich Truffle. TBH I also have tried and loved their gel formula semi matte lipsticks and my personal fave is Mauve Moment. I can totally relate!
We also spoke to the rest of the judges and here's what they had to say about the event and finalists:
Jason Capobianco, Global Fashion & Beauty Photographer
His Advice for Contestants:
Just relax, feel your way through it. Don't try too hard and give just that little bit of your (authentic) self that we're looking for. If you're stuck in front of the camera and it feels a bit false, look away for a moment and come back when you're ready. Take as much time to feel right again and continue to bring that natural self again.
Luis Casco, Mary Kay Global Makeup Artist
His Say About Makeup:
In Asia, the focus on skin is more apparent and there's always colour play especially in the warmer climates because darker skintones somehow show colour more dramatically.
For 2017, the trends seems to be on monochromatic makeup trends, like using the same one colour for your eyes, cheeks and lips. Also there is more spotlight given to guys doing makeup such as Patrick Starrr, Manny MUA, etc.
His fave Mary Kay products:
Light, Reinvented Collection (Spring 2017) & Lash Intensity Mascara
Jung Saem-Mool, Korean Celebrity Makeup Artist
Her Makeup Expertise Speaks:
This year the MK Dream Beautiful Makeup trend is 'Blooming Flower', so she encourages the contestants to use the high-pigmented colours on the palette to express this theme on the finale photoshoot and catwalk. However for everyday look, you can adapt it by your own personal colour preference and control the amount according to your liking.
For 2017, she foresees the Korean beauty trend seem to be on Colour Correcting. Less foundation coverage, more of minimal coverage by correcting flaws for that fresh, dewy look.
Sheryl Adkins-Green, Chief Marketing Officer of Mary Kay Global
Mary Kay's strategy has always been about Enriching Women's Lives. This year the message of women empowerment and confidence in terms of the portrayment the Mary Kay opportunity is
"A Woman Can Do Anything She Puts Her Mind To".
Dream Beautiful is exclusive to Mary Kay Asia Pacific, an event that celebrates beauty and sisterhood. The strength lies between the relationship of a MK Beauty Consultant (as a trusted partner and advisor) with her customer. It invites women to discover what they like about themselves. Women are capable of doing so much and we can achieve all our dreams if we are willing to put in the effort.
Having this MK Dream Beautiful platform, Sheryl believes it builds awareness of the heart of Mary Kay. Through this event, we can see women connecting, women supporting each other's dreams, and women celebrating each other. This allows the independent sales force to reach out to their customers and subsequently gives confidence to other women through the power of beauty.
About Her Thoughts on Celebs Going Sans Makeup in Public:
"I think it's an individual's choice, I'm actually excited about it because we've always felt that women want to look like themselves, but maybe a little bit better so for me it's not that makeup makes you look better, it's really how you feel about yourself from the inside. I love seeing women who are confident enough to go natural. We believe that beauty starts with beautiful healthy skin and the makeup is the fun part. The celebration of natural beauty is just another way of a woman saying "I'm comfortable with myself" and when you're comfortable with yourself, that's when the beauty shines through."
I really like her brilliant answer! She's such a charismatic woman and we really need more women leaders like her IMHO 🙋🏽
KK Chua, President of Mary Kay Asia Pacific
He is the pioneer who started Mary Kay in Asia Pacific, from China to Philippines to a total of 9 Asia countries today! He has been managing Mary Kay for the past 22 years and revealed that they are going to penetrate into Indonesia's market very soon.
He acknowledges that each country is different in their own unique way and Mary Kay is not a one-size-fits-all company, they do have tailored products catered to individuals for their personal needs. Mary Kay has products with various price points to appeal to different market segments. For example in China, they have a luxury line called Youthfinity, a brand that is not available in Malaysia at the moment. And for Malaysia, Mary Kay is planning to bring in At Play, a colour cosmetics line that appeals to the younger crowd (this is top *hush hush* info but yes, you heard it first hand here!). We can expect liquid lipsticks too from the brand!!! Currently At Play is being sold in Latin America, so you can expect more colour makeup to drop here soon too!
Speaking to him about whether Mary Kay products is moving towards cruelty-free or halal, he said that Mary Kay has actually worked very closely with China government to move away from conducting animal testing so much so that now the majority of Mary Kay products do not need to go through that. Mr Chua educated us that only "new ingredients" that has not been registered in the country only needs to go through animal-testing. That is really new information to me, because I thought that all products need to be tested on animals. He said that as a responsible company, Mary Kay has funded in-vitro testings, so that they do not need to go through animal testing for their products.
Here's Lipstiq.com Editor Carmen Chong and me after the interviews!
Spent a lot of time with her during this HK trip.
The view from the hotel is simply breathtaking, so sad that my camera isn't able to take wide shots of the scenery properly!
In the afternoon, we had some spare time before the finale so we needed fro Tsim Sha Tsui to Mong Kok to do some shopping!
The streets of Hong Kong are filled with high rise buildings and narrow roads in the city.
..... we also managed to visit the much talked about Sneakers Street!
Pretty much shoe heaven for sneakers enthusiasts!
This is a Nike store that has 4 or 5 storeys!
We quickly rushed back for dinner, only to be told that we didn't have time for that *bummer*
So I had much spare time to kill, so I took a quick nap and dressed up for the finale event. The dresscode was "evening chic" so I thought what I wore was appropriate (with all that faux fur going on). To my surprise, I was overdressed! So many ladies turned up with pretty casual dresses, and I felt like an alien there fml.
The event was hosted by Dominic Lau (recognized him from his Channel V days) in English and translator Lingyi Pu who can converse both Chinese and Korean!
The event kicked off with some questions to the judges and then a catwalk show by the model finalists, wearing all Nine West.
They later walked out accompanied by their Beauty Consultants for a introduction session.
Here's our Malaysia & Singapore representatives, all decked out in full Mary Kay makeup!
Florinda Tay & Lim Jia Min (SG)
Lim B'Shen & Ooi Wei Hsing (MY)
Lorraine Ramadas & Mahirah Shah Khan (MY)
And the queen finally walked down the catwalk and stole the show!
Coco Rocha doing what she does best!
The judges announced Top 8 pairs and each finalists had a final Q&A session before judges decides on Top 3 Models for Faces of Mary Kay Asia Pacific and 1 Independent Beauty Consultant as Beauty Artist of Mary Kay Asia Pacific.
These lucky 4 individuals will be flown to Seoul, South Korea for a Mary Kay brand campaign photo shoot representing Mary Kay's beauty inside and out.
Emcees holding the results and reads the winners names....
Team China, *Team Malaysia* and Team Philippines won!
Yuandi Chen (CN), Tongtong Wang (CN),
Lorraine Ramadas (MY), Mahirah Khan (MY),
Chrismel Santos (PH), Bellatrix Tan (PH)
Here's a pic of our Malaysian prides!
Mahirah & Lorraine
Since we didn't had any dinner, an sumptious supper is obligatory!!! The only 24-hour food outlet nearest to us was McD's so there we went.
I had the chance to try their Angus Beef burger and it was yummayyyy 😋 😋 😋
My breakfast view 😍
We had breakfast overlooking the waters and the view, omg the view!!!
Some last minute souvenir shopping before we leave HK.
My baby pink top and pants were bought at a bargain at Mong Kok the day before!
HKD30 for top (~RM17) // HKD55 for pants (~RM30)
And off to KL we go!
Bye bye Hong Kong, it was a short and sweet visit.
I wanted to share with you a sweet story of the winning duo from Malaysia --
Lorraine and her beautiful model, Mahirah.
Over breakfast, Mahirah tells the tale of how she and Lorraine met.
Apparently Lorraine messaged Mahirah on Facebook (they were not FB friends yet) and introduces herself as a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant wanting to enter the MK Dream Beautiful competition and tells that she needs a face model for her dream to come true. Lorraine mentions about the prizes and it got her really intrigued by the contest. Seeing that Lorraine was genuine about her quest, Mahirah then agrees to meet Lorraine in person and that's how everything got rolling!
I thought that it was really sweet of Lorraine to single out Mahirah, and Lorraine tells the tale of how Mahirah was not really a confident girl at first. Lorraine said that she saw potential in Mahirah and Mahirah has got the looks for a model. Apparently they travelled between Penang and Kuala Lumpur for this contest and really took good care of one another. Lorraine would shower Mahirah with Mary Kay beauty masks so that her skin would stay hydrated and encouraged Mahirah day and night about being a model. I could see that through this journey, both ladies supported each other in their dreams and it was so, so magically beautiful of how they achieved it together through this Mary Kay Dream Beautiful Contest ☺️ 😭 😭 😭
This story is a fine example of how two ladies come together and confided in one another to achieve their dreams.
If you are looking to join this contest, I'm sure Mary Kay would hold it again by end of this year so do stay updated via their social media accounts!
Thank you Mary Kay, for giving me this opportunity to be part of this beautiful movement and be empowered through the power of beauty!