Tuesday, April 22, 2014

HOW TO: Fresh and Bright Asian Make-up

Being a long time Korean drama addict and a fan of K-pop (my guilty pleasures), I've always loved the way actors and celebrities in Asia were able to maintain a glowing youthful complexion that makes you wonder if they're even wearing any base makeup. Now that Australia is coming into the cooler seasons, I am finding that my skin is looking more dull and more dry - so it's now more than ever that I want to emulate a youthful and glowing complexion. In Asia there is a huge importance placed on pale milky skin and skin care - that's why you'll find so many ladies wearing giant hats, face masks and gloves up to their arm pits. Growing up in a western society, I've always loved a good tan and an even better bronzer, so exploring Asian make-up styles has been really refreshing.

BASE: To do this look, you want to make sure the condition of your skin is at its best, so maybe give yourself a light exfoliation and heavily moisturise before hand. I found that by mixing my brightening primer into my foundation, it gave me a brighter effect compared to if I had just layered the two products on top of each other. To emulate that really glowing and bright skin, you should reach for a foundation that is about 1 shade lighter than your skin and concentrate the product in the center of the face and lightly feather it out. This will give you the most natural bright effect, without seeming like you've just matched yourself to the completely wrong colour. Also, to really achieve this healthy dewy complexion, avoid or powder as minimally as possible.
For this I chose to use my Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation and mixed it in with my Benefit That Gal Primer - you could also use something like M.A.C Strobe Cream or alternatively if your skin is oily you can use a highlight powder like The Balm Mary-Loumanizer or a natural cream product like Benefit Whats Up to spot highlight - remember it's a glow not an oily shine.

BROWS: You want to make sure you fill your brows in full and straight. This is supposed to give your face a very youthful and innocent look, arched brows aren't as popular in Asia and can sometimes make your face look aged or 'mean'. My brows are naturally arched so I wasn't able to get the brows to be as straight as I had wanted for this look, but by filling in the arch area a bit thicker, it definitely changed my brow shape and the way my face looked.
I mixed my trusty Illamasqua Brow Powder in Thunder with Illamasqua Eye Shadow in Heroine to give the brows a softer effect - I also brushed my hairs upwards with a brow gel to create a more lifted and full brow.

EYES: For this particular look, I went for very nude and innocent looking eye makeup to keep with the innocent and youthful image. All you need to do is apply a shimmering beige to the center of the lids and line your eyes down wards... Yes, down wards! By creating a very subtle line following the upper lid down (opposite of a winged cat eye, where you follow the bottom lash line up) it creates a droopy puppy eye effect, which is now very trendy and popular. It's supposed to make the eyes look more innocent, sweet and make the person look more approachable. You also really want to emphasize the lower lash line with a shiny shimmering product, this makes the eyes look like its watering and innocent.
I doubled The Balm Mary-Loumanizer highlight as a shadow for both the upper and lower lash line. To line my eyes I always use my trusty Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner, this always creates a fine line and is extremely easy to use. And never forget mascara, because that will seriously lift and open up the eyes.

LIPS: Gradient lips are a trend that Asian make-up artists really pioneered in my opinion. For so long i've seen K-pop idols and actors rocking a just bitten lip that looks so sexy, innocent and kissable all at the same time. It looks amazing in both matte and glossy finishes and today I went for the glossy finish to make the lips look extra supple and juicy. I find that by applying the lip balm/gloss on first then layering the lipstick or stain over the top makes the gradient more fluid and smooth.
I applied my YSL lip balm (maybe discontinued) all over the lips first, then took my Bourjois Colour Boost lip pencil dabbed and blended it into the center.

1. Prep skin with skin care (cleanse, tone, moisturise)
2. Mix liquid foundation and illuminating base together and apply in the center of the face
3. Lightly conceal any under eye circles and pigmentation if needed
4. Apply a shimmering blush to the apples of cheek and lightly blend back towards temples
5. Fill brows in create a nice full and straight shape
6. Apply a shimmering shadow to center of upper lids and all along the lower lash line
7. Using a liquid liner, thinly line the eyes down wards, following the upper lash line (down, not up)
8. Curl and apply mascara to both upper and lower lashes
9. Apply balm/gloss to lips first then dot a more pigmented lipstick/stain to the center of the lips
10. *Selfie*

In less than 10 steps you can easily achieve a clean, bright and polished makeup look. I'll definitely be rocking this kind of makeup look this winter. Give it a go, don't be shy and remember it is just makeup!


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