i met photographer wales wong, photographer and one of the editors of Veux Magazine, in the wonderful world of the internet! the magazine caught my attention and after having contacted wales, we were on our way to plan a shoot for issue 10 entitled ‘alchemy’.

i was so excited to create four different metallic looks; i had been dying to try using metallic foil! it was so fun to be able to literally paint the face like a canvas using silvers, golds and bronze and being able to decorate the canvas with sheets of metallic foil. i always love experimenting with new textures!

the team was amazing, we managed to fit in 4 makeup and hair looks and had them shot all within five hours! it was great working with wales for the first time and always fun working with carlos from spellbound hair design. each of the looks were accessorized by hand-made jewellery from students at OCAD.

here are some behind-the-scenes photos of us hard at work!:











And here are the tears from veux magazine issue 10!:











for the collection, our international artistic direct kakuyasu uchiide created a beautiful chocolatey look using the orange & pistachio palette. for second look that i did for the new shu uemura fall 2012 chocolat-donna collection, i wanted to use the palettes in a slightly different way. i focused more on the pistachio green in the orange & pistachio palette since it’s such a unique colour. i also wanted to incorporate the mint & vanilla palette, so i used the mint green shimmery shadow for highlighting.

photographer mark darren helped me to create these lovely images of model and actress sarah lian:

decorate a sensual chocolatey eye with hint of pistachio to the centre of the lids. this really switches up the typical neutral eye. complete the lovely lady-like look with a bold and glossy red lip for added drama.

to get the look:

  • for a flawless canvas, prep skin with concentrate (tsuya skin was used on model – review on this product to come soon!)
  • apply tsuya uv underbase mousse to smooth away pores so that foundation glides on perfectly (review to come)
  • use brush 18 to apply face architect smooth fit fluid foundation in 564
  • use cover crayon concealer in 7YR ML to under eye, nose and outer corner of lip area and on blemishes and use synthetic brush 10 to blend
  • use brush 18R and face powder matte in colourless to set
  • use natural brush 10 and apply creamy eye shadow in p medium olive 461 to eye socket to create shape
  • use natural brush 10 and apply matte light brown shade from the pistachio & orange palette over the creamy shadow; use brush 11 to soften
  • deepen definition using brush 10 and apply dark matte brown shade from the same palette to crease and lower lid
  • use brush 11 and apply pistachio shade to the centre of lid
  • use brush 4R to apply orange shade to inner corner and lower lid
  • use brush 12 highlight brow bone with peach shade from palette (the mint shade from the mint & vanilla palette was used on model)
  • leave brows or simply apply brow manicure in ash brown to leave focus on the eyes
  • use brush 2R to line eyes with black painting liner
  • curl lashes and apply stretch xtreme mascara
  • apply choco-lash partial lashes
  • use brush 20 to apply apricot glow on to apples of cheeks
  • line lips with nude lip liner 
  • use lip brush to apply rouge unlimited in rd160
  • apply clear lip vinyl over top
  • if enlarged pores are of concern, a quick tip to fix this is to apply face powder matte in colourless before applying foundation and again after. by applying the loose powder before, pores are smoothed away, which creates a smooth canvas for foundation to glide over.

i didn’t have my husband there to take some step-by-step photos this time. i’ll be sure to bring him next time!

chocolate paired with raspberry and mocha creates such a delightfully rich palette. for the fall season, create sensual smoky brown eyes using metallic warm shades and rich matte brown shadows.

for the new shu uemura fall 2012 chocolat-donna collection, i created two makeup looks using two of the three delicious palettes. the first of the two was using the raspberry & mocha palette. if you’re looking for the most neutral and wearable of the three palette, this one would be your pick.

raspberry & mocha is the one in the centre

for this look, i wanted to show off more of the pinks and purples while using the browns to contour. i love that all of the palettes come with both medium and dark brown matte shades which are so perfect for contouring and creating a lovely chocolate smoky eye.

here’s how to create the look (and some behind-the-scenes photos taken by my wonderful husband):


  • base: stage performer instant glow (it was designed to use on runway models backstage to instantly correct imperfections including fine lines. it has a chroma-adjuster so it adjusts to the colour of your skin when applied)
  • use brush 18 and apply illuminating moisture foundation (764 was used on model)
  • use synthetic brush 10 to apply point cealer (medium light beige for model)
  • brush 18R to set foundation using matte powder in colourless





  • use eye light pencil white on brow bone and blend with brush 10 (apply onto lids also if desired to intensify eyeshadow colour)

  • use natural brush 10 and brown cream shadow to create crease shape
  • use brush 12 to apply pink shade on brow bone
  • use brush 11 to apply matte brown shade over top brown cream shadow

  • brush 10 to apply pink shade to center of lid
  • brush 10 to apply purple shade to crease and extend out to temple; brush 11 to soften
  • brush 5R to apply deep brown shade to outer corner to add depth
  • brush 10F to apply deep brown and metallic brown to lower lid
  • brush 4R to apply pearl shade to the inner corner
  • brush 2R to line eyes with black painting liner
  • curl lashes and use stretch xtreme mascara (which is a waterproof fibre mascara, so you can build volume and length by applying several coats – i love this!)
  • apply choco-lash




  • use brush 20 to apply frambosier blush contouring cheeks then apply apricot blush to apples of cheeks


  • rouge unlimited BR 750 and gloss 283


  • 2 coats of dark chocolate then apply icing glitter on tips for dark chocolate champagne nails!

we had a hard time choosing just one image for shu uemura; here were are initial final four:


these are unedited images


here’s the final image captured by talented photographer mark darren with beautiful model stephanie nicholson with hair styled by eliza tam:



i’ll be blogging about the orange & pistachio palette soon – stayed tuned!

My inspiration: Summer is a season filled with fun bursts of colour; Dazzling the eyes with glittery purple and blue hues is a playful way to create fresh and flirty eyes. balance the look with soft shimmery pink lips and rosy pink cheeks.

for our series of images for the shu uemura glitter eye collection, my photographer mark darren and i had the chance to work with beautiful and talented actress and model Sarah Lian. it was awesome to be able to work with her, as she is a shu fan herself and had done modelling for shu uemura malaysia when she was working there.

for the summer season, i wanted to create a look that was bright and punchy. i wanted to show off the beautifully pigmented new pressed glitter shadows. to enhance the colours, i used the new cream shadows as a base. this look can also be done for monolid eyes.

to re-create this look: (click here to see the shu uemura website to discover products and tools or visit your local shu uemura counter at Holt Renfrew)


  • apply stage performer instant glow to even out skin tone (with the chroma adjuster, it adjusts to your natural skin tone) and to smooth away lines and pores.
  • use brush 18 and apply face architect smooth fit foundation in 554 (medium sand).
  • use synthetic brush 10 and apply point cealer in medium beige to under eye area and blemishes
  • use brush 18R and apply face powder matte in colourless to set makeup


  • use natural brush 10 and cream purple shadow P796 and create a gradation from the lash line up, covering the entire lid
  • use natural brush 10 and press G blue 646 over the purple cream base, then apply G turquoise 641 to the centre of lid
  • use natural brush 10 and apply G purple the the outer corner of the eye and sweep inward
  • use brush 5R and G purple to contour the eye socket
  • use brush 5R and apply P790 to outer V
  • use brush 11 and apply G pink to soften the outer purple edge
  • use brush 11 and apply G white-silver 909 to brow bone and temples
  • tight line eyes with brush 4F and black painting liner
  • apply stretch xtreme mascara after curling lashes
  • apply false lashes black diamante or natural volume and line eyes with liquid liner
  • use brush 10F and press P790 to bottom lash line over top black painting liner. apply stretch xtreme mascara to bottom lashes.


  • use brush 20 to apply glow on 345 (soft coral) to apples of cheeks
  • use brush 20 to soften edges and to highlight cheek bones using glow on P510 light peach
  • optional: use brush 20h and use glow on 761 to contour


  • apply rouge unlimited supreme shine PK306 to entire lip
  • apply rouge unlimited supreme shine PK337 to centre of lips for dimension


the same steps can be applied for monolid eyes. photographer james mui helped me produce this lovely photo of amanda z. i used the exact same products and steps on amanda as i did on sarah, except i used the black diamante lashes on her instead and the foundation colour is 764. the great thing about darker coloured cream shadows is that you can use them to create a gradation from the lash line up for monolids to create the appearance of wider eyes.

when doing makeup for monolid eyes, remember to keep opening your eyes as you apply the shadow to make sure that it still shows when your eyes are opened.

use brush 5F to draw thicker eyeliner on the upper lid so that it still shows up once eyes are opened. paint on the painting liner creating a gradation from the lash line upwards.

have fun experimenting!

i’ve been working on a series of photos for the shu uemura glitter eye collection: new glitter pressed eyeshadow shades, cream shadows and silk smooth shadows. it’s been such a fun process; from preparing face charts, to doing test shoots with various models and lighting setups with photographer james mui and then creating the actual and final images with photographer mark darren  to submit to shu uemura.

i had the pleasure of meeting and working with talented model adriana chira; together we created a smoky olive look using a combination of the new shadows and one existing shade (ME472) and the shu farfallina lashes. it was so fun to see the colours morph under different lighting setups; the soft grey background gave such a subtle smoky eye with hints of glitter, while the white background really made the colours look punchy.

here are some of the images that were captured during the process of this project (although this post is entitled “part 1”, it’s in no particular order). more photos (parts) from this project to come!

i got together with talented toronto designer monica mei of aimeluxury and my photographer, mark darren, for our first photoshoot together featuring her new collection. her clothing is so sleek and what she calls “seasonless” – a concept that i love. her collections can be found in retailers across north america; definitely something you must check out.

after bouncing around several emails and after having seen the pieces from her new collection that she wanted to feature, i knew that i wanted to have model stephanie nicholson on board for the project. monica’s collections are always so sophisticated, sexy and clean; i knew steph would be the perfect fit.

as for makeup, i wanted to do something sexy and smouldering, but that wouldn’t take away from the beautiful pieces. so i decided on a brown smoky eye rimmed with black liner to really make steph’s beautiful aqua eyes stand out. i also put a highlight of bronze glitter in the inner corner to keep the eyes bright.

Products used: (please click here to find the shu uemura products from the list below); some products may only be available in canada – please check with your local holt renfrew location.

FACE: stage performer instant-glow (base with chroma-adjuster), face architect smooth fit fluid foundation in 764 (medium light beige), face powder matte in colourless, glow on M561 (apples), M510 (highlight cheekbones, nose and forehead) and M761 (contour),

EYES: double-ended eye crayon (earthy brown end to draw contour of the eye – blend out with natural brush 10), ME 862 on lid and over the eye crayon base, M 895 to further define crease, M 813 for brow bone (brush11), black painting liner (brush 2R), G bronze (brush 5R) inner corners, ultimate expression mascara, natural volume false lashes

BROWS: hard formula in seal brown

LIPS: CR 330 and gloss BG 980N



monica graciously helped us with styling. i absolutely love her taste. everything that she put on steph is something i’d definitely wear.

perfect LBD with sheer sleeves.. love.

sexy jersey dress

versatile sexy blazer


more photos from her collection to come! stay tuned.

shu uemura worked in collaboration with japanese contemporary kimono designer mamechiyo who designed the lovely floral packaging for the collection of four new uv underbases and for four cleansing oils. each of her designs were inspired by japanese botany: willow tree, cherry blossom, peony and plum.

to reflect the characteristics of these plants and to celebrate mamechiyo’s wonderful designs, i created a makeup look for each of the four designs. like mamechiyo’s designs, each of the makeup looks tell a story. i had talented hair designer carlos phang of Spellbound Hair Design on board to come up with the perfect hair for each of the looks.

with the help of my photographer mark darren mui and his sidekick james mui, my makeup looks came to life:

BOTAN – Peony (model: Amanda Z)

Inspiration: Young green leaves of the peony flower blooming in Spring; Its strong, fresh leaves supporting the soft, delicate flower. Bold deep green is paired with soft pastel green to portray this image.

UME – Plum (model: Aya S.)
Inspiration: During the cold winter months, the Japanese plum announces the coming of Spring. It brings a feeling of warmth during the chill of Winter; An array of cool and warm purple tones are blended together reflecting this transition.
FUJI – Willow (model: Effie Tsorovas)
Inspiration: Inspired by the Japanese willow tree. Its branches blowing in the wind creating whimsical colours with its leaves and flowers.
SAKURA – Cherry Blossom (model Ellen D.)
Inspiration: Cherry blossoms create a romantic and soft Spring atmosphere. The pinks found in the various species of cherry blossoms are so captivating. This makeup look portrays the intense pinks of some cherry blossoms, as well as the soft pink of others.
to see how i created these looks and for a list of products used, visit it will be up soon!
our work is being displayed as we speak at holt renfrew locations across canada! here are a couple photos from the calgary location:
visit any holt renfrew location to check out the collection and to see my work!

as seen across the runways this spring season, a pop of colour is a fun way to brighten up your look. it could, however, seem difficult to pull off. if it’s your first time trying to add some brights to your makeup look, here are some tips to get your feet wet:

  1. choose a shade that you are comfortable wearing . although tangerine is hot this summer, you can start off with a colour that you are more comfortable with before trying out the orange tones. shades such as blue, green, purple and yellow are great too!
  2. choose a more subtle way of applying the bright eyeshadow. here are a few ways on doing this:
  • apply a light sweep of the colour: start from the lash line, but a bit off centre towards the outer corner of the eye and create a gradation from that point outwards using brush 10 or brush 11 if you’d like an even softer effect. line your eyes with brown painting liner, curl lashes and apply mascara.
  • apply the bright colour to the inner corner of eyeusing the smaller precision brush 5R, apply the bright colour to the inner corner of your eye to brighten and open up the eyes. stick to cool tones, as warmer tones such as tangerine can make the eyes appear irritated.
  • apply the colour on the lower lash line: do your makeup as you normally would for a natural look (using browns and taupes), then using angled brush 6 OB line your bottom lash line with the bright colour to really open up the eyes.
  • apply the colour to the outer edge of the crease colour: do your makeup as you normally would using neutral colours. use a matte colour deep brown for the crease/outer corner of eye, then using brush 10 place the bright colour at the edge of the crease colour, soften and blend into the crease colour using brush 11.
3. keep the rest of the face neutral: apply peach blush and sheer lipstick. the shu uemura supreme shine lipsticks are perfect for this.

here is my list of recommended shu uemura brights to try out this season:
the new spring celestial garden trios are a perfect way to follow the above steps:
air eyeshadow trio (blue, purple, brown)
light eyeshadow trio (green, yellow, brown)
eventually, you can go bold and extend the colour further out for a playful look. To learn how to re-create the look below, click the link to visit the (under the collections section entitled “ocean blue”).
 photography by mark darren, model effie tsorovas, makeup by patricia lee
 be bold and have fun with colours!

photography by mark darren mui and james mui, model: amanda z, hair&makeup by patricia lee

tangerine is the “it” colour of this season! i know that tangerine seems like a difficult colour to pull off, but trust me, any colour could look good on anyone; it’s all about finding the right shade and about pairing it with the right makeup and outfit. here are some tips on wearing tangerine makeup:

  1. use only one item of makeup that is tangerine. if you use a sweep of tangerine eyeshadow on the eyes, then keep your lips neutral and use bronzer or a soft blush on the cheeks. if you use tangerine on the lips, keep eyes neutral by using taupes/browns. if you use tangerine on the cheeks, opt for a gloss on the lips rather than a lipstick.
  2. choose a shade of tangerine that suits you. if you are fair-skinned, choose a more coral tone. if you have olive skin, you can choose a more orange  (warm) tone. if you have darker skin, choose a cooler tone of tangerine. here are some suggestions:

lip stick for fair-skin: shu uemura rouge unlimited in cr310 light peach oral

blush for fair-skin: sunlight peach creamy dome blush

lipstick for olive (tan) skin: cr330 medium grapefruit

blush for olive (tan) skin: p vivid orange glow on

for darker skin: rouge unlimited or520

blush for darker skin: m medium peach 560 (i love this one!)

find out how to re-create this look at

have fun with colours! brighten up your day with some tangerine!

when we think of a smoky sultry eye, colours such as black, greys and charcoals tend to come to mind. but experimenting with punchy colours  really modernizes the smoky eye. i teamed up with model effie tsorovas and my favourite photographers mark darren and james mui to create a sultry look using yellow, green and black eyeshadows:

to create the look:

foundationshu uemura nobara cream cover stick for a high coverage matte look. to draw all the attention to the eyes, skin should appear completely flawless.

eyes – base colour: me soft yellow 336 (*me = metallic); crease: me olive 472 and m black 990; inner corner and brow bone: me soft yellow green ; 432 eyeliner: painting liner in black

browshard formula in seal brown

cheeksgentle amber cream cheek (perfect for glowing cheeks)

lipsrouge unlimited bg 911 (bg = beige) (keep lips neutral when doing a smoky eye)


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