updated 2 Jul 2013, 14:46
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Tue, Jul 02, 2013
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Jeannie Mai's style tips
by Rohaizatul Azhar

Fashion stylist Jeannie Mai does not see herself as a mother. At least, not for now.

The 33-year-old Vietnamese-American, who has been married to American TV presenter Freddy Harteis for the past six years, says she still feels like a child.

"Being a mother is the ultimate job in the world. It is no longer about you but everything about your child and his future. I don't think I'm there yet."

But the style guru, who was in town to host the VIP Fashion Night shopping event at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands in April, takes her hat off to working mums.

"It is always important to look after ourselves too. I think every woman should have a little 'Sasha Fierce' in her," she says with a laugh, referring to pop star Beyonce's on-stage alter ego.

"Whether it is a push-up bra or a good quote that she saved on her phone, I believe every woman should have one thing she can tap into to empower her."

For her, it is the blue streaks in her jet-black hair.

"When I was younger, I loved reading the Wonder Woman comics. She has blue streaks in her hair and she can achieve anything. So, for me, even if I cannot get myself into anything fabulous or expensive, I've got these blue streaks that make me feel fantastic. And that's enough for me to want to face the world."

Ms Mai was born in San Jose, California, to a Vietnamese father and Chinese mother. The eldest of three children, she has sported the streaks since she was 14.

"I was that girl who didn't have many things in life. My parents were not rich, so buying trendy clothes or expensive bags was out of the question," she recalls.

"But my mum taught me how to jazz up my clothes with buttons and old materials we found in flea markets. Growing up, the glue gun was basically my best friend."

In 1998, when she turned 18, she became a make-up artist for M.A.C Cosmetics in Los Angeles and eventually became a celebrity make-up artist and stylist for MTV.

To date, she has worked with Hollywood A-listers such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston and Christina Aguilera.

In 2009, she became the host of How Do I Look?, a makeover show on American cable TV's Style Network. Her acerbic tongue when dishing out style tips has made her one of the most popular fashion presenters in the industry. She is also a regular commentator on red carpet fashion during awards season.

One of her biggest pet peeves is ill-fitting clothes.

"If you don't have fit, you don't have fashion.

It's as simple as that," she says. "You can be wearing the most expensive designer outfit in the world but all that does not matter if it does not fit you. You will still look sloppy."

Asked for one thing she cannot leave home without, Ms Mai answers, without missing a beat:

"False eyelashes, definitely. I am all about fashion and not function so I'll wear my false eyelashes everywhere, even to the grocery store down the road from my house.

"I want to look bright and sassy and false eyelashes really open up your eyes and make them look fabulous."

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