Backstage Pass with Cathi Singh!

Recently I had the honor of heading up a team of artists for a fashion show celebrating The Year of the Rabbit and the gorgeous alluring makeup of Geishas.

I had never done a full Geisha makeup before, and so I began researching feverishly. I watched videos of actual Geishas preparing their makeup and was in awe of their application, which is done with such a strategic, graceful and flawless motion, that I realized that the preparation of their appearance is just as important as their overall presence.

I wanted to pay homage to that graceful art, but also bring a modern element to the design. After seeing the wardrobe, I realized that bold and vibrant colors would be necessary to balance out the varied traditional and modern costumes. I also wanted to challenge myself to accomplish a modern Geisha makeup as a grand finale of sorts.

I used many different product lines on this show, but for this post I want to focus on two brands that were the shining stars...TemptuPRO and NYX Cosmetics.

I came into possession of a new TemptuPRO airbrush machine and shipment of extremely bold primary colored eyeshadows and lip colors from NYX Cosmetics and thought, "it’s as if these brands knew exactly what I needed!"

I’ve not mentioned this before, but this Pro has never airbrushed a makeup application. I am fully trained and experienced with spray tanning, but that is a slightly different element. This show was shaping up to be an exciting challenge for me in many areas, so I jumped in with both feet!

In prepping, I purchased a Hi Def color in White silicone (s/b) makeup from TemptuPRO for the Geisha skin, as well as the s/b All Blush color in Peony for a hint of pink on the cheeks.

Wanting to keep the makeup sharp, bold, modern and have striking angles, I also used a variety of textured feather false lashes, on the top and bottom lids, as well as bright pigments up to the brow for a dramatic effect.

With very limited time to completely block out the brows, I instead chose to leave them somewhat visible, but very clean. I applied several heavy layers of NYX Brow Definer Wax pencil on each brow and then smoothed with my finger. I airbrushed color over it, let it dry, powdered, and then applied more foundation. The wax did its job and those brows laid flat all night!

The eyeshadow colors are what took my interpretation of Geisha makeup into modern day, I used; NYX Lake Algae, Matte Turquoise, and Red Head, as well as the NYX Caribbean Collection Palette in I Dream of St. Lucia, which provided phenomenal pigment delivery.  So much so that my team used them all over the skin, over cream blushes, on top of lip gloss and under glitter pigments.

The end result of these powders was incredible and I also greatly appreciated the fact that they didn’t crumble and cause color fallout anywhere and they stayed put without creasing!

While we were blocking out the model’s natural lip tone and focusing on drawing a small triangle or heart on the lips for a delicate yet playful look, I reached for NYX Lipstick shades in #101 Hot Pink and #125 Berry. They gave the face more bright, bold color and left a nice sheen on the lips.

Upon arriving at the show location and walking backstage, I went immediately to check on my Geisha’s skin. It had been about two hours since I finished her makeup and wanted to make sure she was still pristine.

In the complications of wardrobe, she had accidentally smudged a small area on her nose, what looked like a button had grazed the skin. Realizing this was silicone makeup which can be difficult to correct, and I only had a few precious moments to fix the very obvious “boo boo,” I ravaged through my kit to find a quick solution. I found a $2 white pencil I have had in my kit forever and maybe used once.

I was actually joking with fellow MUA Pro Melissa Street not two days before then, that I was going to get rid of it (and others) because it was taking up space! But in that moment I was extremely grateful I was such a makeup hoarder!

I have to give credit to TemptuPRO because the silicone foundation application was quite easy, although time consuming, and it wore beautifully all night, without ever needing a touch up of powder (aside from the pencil dilemma). For body makeup, TemptuPRO is the one! I was highly impressed with the overall result and longevity of their product.

Other Product used on the show: Purely Cosmetics Silk Powder, Smashbox Cream Liner in Caviar, Yaby Color Palette, OCC Lip Tars, OCC loose color pigment in Clove and Elephantine, Ben Nye Sparklers in Gold, NYX loose pigment in Mink, and MAC loose pigment in Blackened Red and Pinked Mauve.

A special thanks to my team; Shelley Morgan, Josef Balandran, Heidi Mehl, Kat Hawley and Amy Rose-Matlock, who worked their buns off and it paid off because the show was a great success and the makeup was a hit!

I challenged myself in several artistic ways, and came out on the other side more knowledgeable, a bit braver, and even more in love with what I get to call a job!

Here are a few more behind-the-scenes photos:


  1. Wow, stunning looks. So well done and thought out. Have to applaud your work, its truly gorgeous!


  2. I will pass along the comment to Cathi! Thanks for posting it!


  3. I don't mind you blogging my photo but I would be grateful if you could credit me and link to the original:

    Many thanks

  4. Thank you Michael for contacting us - we very much appreciate you allowing us to continue to utilize your photo and we have given you proper photo credit with link as requested. We try to give photo credit as much as possible because 98% of the photos used on this blog are not our property and we say so in our disclaimer. We do try to find the proper owners of all the photos we use on IMPO, but depending on where we found them on the internet, that is not always possible.

    Thank you again and Happy New Year!

    Melissa Street