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3 Malaysian female hosts spill their best-kept beauty secrets

Star2 logo Star2 11/9/2018 SANDRA LOW

Three lovely Malaysian hosts who are beautiful inside out show that hard work, professionalism and being well-groomed helped them find success in what they do.

They are the voices that boom from a microphone, the ones who are responsible for controlling an event and ensuring that it runs without a hitch.

Emcees or masters of ceremonies are an integral part of an event whether it’s a signing ceremony, a new product launch, a fashion or beauty event or a high level Government event.

They are the ones clients depend on in representing their brands well and it takes more than someone who’s confident, well-prepared and knowledgeable. It takes intuition, an ability to think on her feet and someone who is polished.

We talked to three dynamic Malaysian female emcees on how they got started, the challenges and how being well-groomed is the icing on the cake of being a successful emcee.

a person sitting on a stage: Malaysian emcees © Provided by Star Media Group Berhad Malaysian emcees

Photo: Tamil Vaani Karunanithy PPN

Tamil Vaani Karunanithy PPN

Part-time professional emcee and full-time teacher, Tamil Vaani Karunanithy PPN, was a champion orator herself while schooling where she won many prizes in public speaking.

“I was quite active in oratory competitions and at 13, I started doing emcee jobs for temples and school events,” says Tamil Vaani, 37, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Languages and Linguistic from UM and teaches at a government school.

She hosts in Tamil, was trained by RTM and also underwent emcee training under the Ministry of Education.

“When I was 20, I was insecure being dark skinned and plump, and was worried about succeeding in life. I wanted to use my speaking abilities and applied for jobs in television but I was rejected because of my skin colour and it was disappointing,” she recalls.

Over time she learnt to embrace her individuality and her oratory talent, and she’s been swamped with emceeing gigs for government and corporate clients.

She says one of the biggest challenges is to not show any innter turmoil on stage, but she’s lucky as she doesn’t get nervous. She also said she’s learnt from experience to liaise with only one person on the job to avoid miscommunication and her favourite part is interacting with people she meets.

Your signature look? 

One is a classical traditional look where I wear a sari with hair ornaments, while the other is modern traditional and a formal suited up look for corporate events.

Are you a makeup lover?

I love makeup and I learnt tips through my sister who does bridal makeup and also from Instagram. Over the years I found that I’m the best makeup artist for myself as most makeup artists didn’t know how to handle my darker skin tone!

When was the first time you wore makeup? 

I was an emcee at the age of 13 for a oratory speech competition and my mum applied lipstick and eyeliner for me, while my dad bought a black jacket and skirt for me­­­­ that I’ve kept till today!

What’s in your makeup bag? 

Sephora loose powder, Elianto lipstick, MAC eyeshadow, MAC eyelash, MAC eyeliner, Victoria Jackson Glow powder and Crylon traditional Indian foundation.

What beauty treatments do you do? 

Every evening I apply green bean powder and a tomato mask to my skin for brightening purposes. Just before a big event, I usually get a 24K gold facial that makes my skin glow. I wake up at 4.30am to meditate, followed by yoga, return to sleep at 5.15am and then wake up again at 6am for work.

Tell us about a beauty mishap. 

During an event where I was acting and hosting, I was painted in white makeup to make me look fair for the role of a fair woman that I was playing. I endured two hours of painting and then while on stage they realised that they forgot to paint my leg! Even my father couldn’t recognise me. I had to use oil and an hour of showering to remove the paint! I’ve learnt to love my skin colour and embrace who I am.

Turn to Page 2 to read about the beauty secrets of Nadia Heng Min Dern and Nur Farisya Abdul Shukor.
a person holding a microphone: Malaysian emcees © Provided by Star Media Group Berhad Malaysian emcees

Photo: Nadia Heng Min Dern

Nadia Heng Min Dern

The former Miss World Malaysia 2010, Nadia Heng Min Dern, has six years of event hosting under her belt, having worked with clients from various industries.

Thirty-three-yeard-old Heng is a regular face as an emcee in the Klang Valley for events from corporate dinners to product launches.

She has her own company “Be Spoke” and she also hosts television programmes when the opportunity arises.

“I started taking on jobs as an emcee shortly after the Miss World 2010 pageant. I wanted to not just let that title be something in the rear view mirror and instead see how far I could go in the entertainment industry,” says Heng.

After emceeing at a few charity events and doing smaller gigs, Heng started getting more offers.

“I would take on as many offers as I could to build my portfolio, figuring this was the best way to hone my skills and improve my craft. So, this led me onto the path of hosting as a career,” she says.

Heng says she needs to be professional, punctual and adaptable in any given situation in order to ensure a smooth experience for everyone. She also says it’s important is to be presentable.

What makes the job enjoyable for her is the adaptability as every day is different.

Your signature look? 

I generally prefer a look that isn’t over the top and I try to go somewhat natural, that way when I meet people outside of work, the contrast isn’t too stark and they will recognise me!

Are you a makeup lover? 

I actually discovered makeup rather late and only started wearing a full face of makeup when I got into the entertainment industry. Even then, initially, I never did my own makeup as I was lucky enough to have some brilliant makeup artists work their magic. But that’s where I formed an interest in makeup.

After discovering the wonders of makeup, I’m just like any other girl who doesn’t think she can give it up! However, when I’m not working I like to give my skin time to breathe.

What’s in your makeup bag? 

My eyebrows have top priority so I carry my Shu Uemura eyebrow pencil everywhere. Also, I bring along my Sulwhasoo lip balm to keep my lips moisturised, and also my Shu Uemura eyelash curler! Right now I’m obsessed with the YSL Tatouage couture lipstick, a liquid matte satin stain that lasts all day. This lipstick is perfect for when I’m on a job and don’t have time to retouch as it won’t budge and feels so light on the lips.

What’s your beauty treat? 

I’m very lucky to have Dick Chin Hair Gallery at Starhill Gallery, who sponsors me and helps me when I need an updo for a gig. I also get scalp treatments to prevent a build up on the scalp or clogged follicles!

What does being well-groomed make you feel on stage? 

Well, when I’m dressed up and have had my hair and makeup done right, it certainly adds a boost of confidence and sets the tone for the event.

a woman smiling for the camera: Malaysian emcees © Provided by Star Media Group Berhad Malaysian emcees

Photo: The Star/Yap Chee Hong

Nur Farisya Abdul Shukor

Since young she was inspired and influenced by her late father, a Malaysian diplomat. Aside from his diplomatic duties, he also took on being an emcee at work, and as early as seven-years-old, Nur Farisya Abdul Shukor would follow her dad to his events.

“I think it is in my DNA that I would eventually become a professional emcee and I only wished he could be here today to see how I’m doing as an emcee, something that he was so good at,” she says.

Farisya, 33, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Deakin University in Melbourne, worked in the corporate world before leaving to become a fulltime emcee in 2016.

“At the PR jobs where I worked, the companies would usually save cost on hiring an emcee and instead I would fill in as emcee for events, and that’s how I basically started,” she says.

She says that it’s important to make a good impression of herself and the client. Preparation is key and one should also be prepared for anything, especially last minute changes.

Looking groomed and neat is a must, but it’s also about being knowledgeable and to think on your feet.

Your signature look? 

I don’t usually wear thick makeup at events, but when it comes to an important event where there are a lot of VVIPs and royalty then I would apply heavier makeup to look more glamorous for the part.

Are you a big makeup lover? 

Definitely. I’m very into makeup and skincare stuff. In fact, I stole my mum’s makeup items from her makeup bag when I was a curious six-year-old and used to be scolded for ruining her lipsticks!

What’s in your makeup bag? 

Claypatra bentonite clay lotion moisturiser, Too Faced Eyeshadow makeup palette, Rimmel BB Cream, Dr Lynn DD Cushion, Silky Girl Sweetheart perfume, Maybelline matte lipsticks, Victoria’s Secret Perfume Mist and Watsons’ Facial Mask. I used to spend on expensive branded makeup but I’ve learnt that affordable mass market beauty brands are just as good. I love applying the Watsons’ facial mask before I apply my makeup for an event as it makes my skin look rested.

What beauty treats do you splurge on? 

I love lash extensions and have been applying a 3D Korean lash extension every month. I get monthly oxygen facials by a dermatologist for glowing skin! Since I was 16 I have been consuming traditional Indonesian jamu that helps with blood circulation and helps me look more youthful. I also drink a lot of water and take supplements. I go to the gym three times a week and do cardio and weights, and get enough sleep when I can.

How does being well-groomed make you feel on stage? 

When I’m looking my best I feel empowered. As an emcee I need to be confident as I’m not only representing my client, I’m representing myself. I’m the narrator of an event and I need to be in control and be able to take charge to ensure that it runs successfully, so it’s a very important role and being well-groomed is crucial.

Tell us a beauty mishap you have experienced.  

While I was hosting a black tie event where I was interviewing a client, my large dangly earrings suddenly dropped so I quickly flicked my hair over to cover my ears hoping no one would notice the missing earring! I’ve also had a hair piece fall off as I was descending the stairs while talking to the audience!

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