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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.

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shu uemura has just released fun new shades of glitter eyeshadows! What’s even more exciting is that shu uemura has also released new cream eyeshadows which are perfect to enhance the glitter shadows and to intensify the colour of any of the other pressed eyeshadows. i absolutely love, love, love the silky texture of the cream shadows and that they allow me to press on the glitter shadows without having the glitter fall onto my cheeks (we all know how hard that is to wipe off if you’ve already applied your foundation!).

for the warm summer weather, why not try a wearable pink lemonade look? p.s. my eyes aren’t really that big, i’ll teach you how to make eyes appear wider.

FACE:

  • bb beige uv underbase mousse (the green mamechiyo bottle) | pentagon sponge
  • face architect illuminating fluid foundation in 564 (medium light sand) | brush 18
  • face powder matte in colours | brush 18R
  • glow on M | brush 20

 

 

 

 

EYES:

click here for the complete collection of new glitter and cream eyeshadows

click here to discover shu uemura hand-crafted brushes

upper lid:

  • base: use finger tip or brush 10 to apply brown cream shadow blending from lash line upwards creating a gradation
  • base: use finger tip or brush 10 to apply pink cream shadow above the brown and a dab a little to the centre of your lid to create dimension
  • inner and outer corners: use brush 10 and M dark brown 895 shadow and contour your eyeball (i know this sounds funny). asian eyes are usually more flat, so we need to create the illusion of dimension.
  • use brush 5R and sweep G light brown along upper lash line all the way up to crease
  • use brush 10 and press G pink on the centre of lid and above crease (placing glitter on the centre of lid gives dimension and makes eyes appear wider)
  • use brush 4F and brown painting liner to draw a thick line to upper lash line (you should really see the line when your eyes are opened). soften that line by sweeping M dark brown 895 on top using brush 5R
  • use brush 4F and black painting liner to tight line upper lash line and to line the base/roots of upper lash line. extend the liner outwards (not upwards) to create wider eyes
  • *trick: to prevent painting liner from drying out while you’re using it, flip it over onto the table while you’re applying
  • curl lashes, apply ultimate expression mascara and luxe black falsies

lower lid:

  • use brush 4F and brown painting liner (black will close up the eyes making them appear smaller) and fill in between lower lash line – all the way to inner corner and fill the inner corner also (this makes eyes appear wider)
  • use brush 10F to press M dark brown 895 into lash line to set the painting liner
  • use brush 10F and apply G yellow to inner corners and centre of lower lid
  • *trick: use liquid liner pen to draw a few bottom lashes on the outer 1/3 of lower lid to make eyes look wider
  • apply gold liquid liner to inner corner and to bottom of of outer edge (flick) of liner – this will lift the eyes

LIPS:

have fun!! the sunshine is out, play around with some glitter!

for the prom fashion show event at holt renfrew yorkdale, i wore a brown dolly eyed look which turned out to be a favourite amongst clients and online shu fans. i’ve received a few requests on how to create the look. so here it is step-by-step:

 

 

SKIN:

for a dolly-look, it’s important to have “porcelain”-like skin. i don’t mean that it needs to be porcelain pale in colour, but it needs to be even and glowing.

 

 

EYES:

LIPS:

i had the pleasure of being the makeup artist for linda and her lovely bridesmaids in november of 2011. when i met linda and her sister for the first time for her makeup and hair trial, she wanted very natural makeup since she normally doesn’t wear any at all. later on, her sister convinced her to go for something more dramatic and i’m so glad she was open to the idea.

natural makeup is always so lovely for brides, but that doesn’t mean that smoky eyes shouldn’t be worn on the wedding day. with the right makeup products, you won’t need to worry about smudging if you happen to turn on the waterworks! i used shu uemura black painting liner which is waterproof once dry.

for linda’s makeup, i used a mix of black, grey and silver makeup. and of course, i used my go-to eyeshadow m dark brown 895 to warm it all up. i use this shade with almost all makeup looks that i create.

linda has very fine and thin hair and she wanted some serious volume for her wedding day. so for her hair, i curled it with a straightening iron to ensure the curls stayed all day long, i backcombed her entire head to add volume then brushed and pinned it all to the side.

for the bridesmaids, to go with their pewter dresses, i chose champagne eyeshadows.

here’s a video done by talented cinematographer vladimir druts. check out some of his work; he does a wide range of work: from weddings, to documentaries to fashion cinematography.

see below for a list of shu uemura eyeshadows used to create the bride and the bridesmaids’ looks.

linda’s smoky eyes:

bridesmaids’ champagne eyes:

the weather is getting much warmer! time to switch our darks for some colour. for those who always stick to neutral eyeshadows, a simple way to incorporate a bit of colour to your look is to switch your base colour eyeshadow in your shu uemura quad to a fun coloured eyeshadow. makeup is all about experimenting, so have some fun!

i chose to experiment with one of the new shu uemura eyeshadow shades: P light green 520. i simply used it as my base colour and did my makeup as i would normally. to keep the look soft, i used shu uemura brown painting liner on my upper and lower lash line rather than black, which can be a bit harsh. i also used shu uemura farfallina lashes, which are a mix of brown and black which keeps the look soft as well.

this is the look i wore to launch the new mamechiyo limited edition collection of uv underbases and cleansing oils (pick them up now before we run out! i’m stocking up on the bb beige uv underbase!):

here’s how to create the look:

FACE:

  • mamechiyo uv underbase in bb beige to even out my skin (especially those blemishes from occasional breakouts)
  • face architect smoothing fluid foundation in 564 (medium light sand)  (which is semi-matte because my skin tends to get a bit oily in the warmer months)
  • glow on in 561 (it’s a matte medium peach) on the apples of my cheeks, then i soften the edges on my cheekbones using glow on P510 (a pearl light peach)

EYES:

  • since the band of the false lashes is a little thicker than the natural lashes, i used brush 10F (flat brush) to press painting liner in brown in my upper lash line (creating sort of a base near the lash line)
  • use brush 10 and eyeshadow P light green 520 and apply from lash line up, creating a gradation form lash line up to crease.
  • use brush 10 and apply P medium brown 875 to lash line and outer corner. soften outer corner with m dark brown 895 and brush 11.
  • use brush 11 and apply m light beige 813 to brown bone and blend into the dark brown to soften.
  • use black painting liner and brush 4F to tight line upper lash line
  • use brown painting liner and brush 4F to line upper and lower lash line.
  • use brush 10F and m dark brown 895 to soften lower lash line
  • use brush 5R (pencil brush) and me gold soft gold 335 to inner corner
  • curl lashes, apply ultimate natural mascara in brown (it’s light and keeps the curl of the lashes so that the falsies can sit on top of them and use them as a base) and apply farfallina lashes which adds some serious volume and length!

click here to discover shu uemura eyeshadows

click here to discover shu uemura hand crafted brushes 

BROWS:

  • hard formula in seal brown. start in the middle of the brown and apply in strokes following the direction of hair growth
  • soften the brown using brush 6OB to brush through your brows

LIPS:

And here’s my lovely shu uemura team at yorkdale holt renfrew launching the mamechiyo collection and featuring our new rouge unlimited lipsticks and new eyeshadow shades:

dear shu fans,

shu uemura just launched new shades of eyeshadows! for those who love shu eyeshadows, you know  how beautiful the texture is. it’s the best eyeshadow out there; it’s made up of minuscule powders to adhere firmly to the skin, so it goes on super smoothly which gives the appearance of a creamy finish.

for those who have yet to discover shu uemura eyeshadows, there are five different finishes to choose from:

  1. matte (M) – extreme colour payoff with a super soft texture
  2. pearl (P) – reflective pearls to give a silky shine
  3. iridescent (IR) – changes colour with light reflection at different angles
  4. metallic (ME) – silicone based oil for a deep metallic shine (appears dewy)
  5. glitter (G) – fine glitter that’s perfect for highlighting the inner corners of the eyes or to layer on eyeshadows

with all the pinks and corals that we see this season, try creating a soft coral look for this summer season. i was recently in japan and noticed all the girls with bright pink and peach cheeks and fluffy eyelashes; this is such a sweet, dolly look which is what we’ve been seeing on the runways as well.

here’s how to create the look:

SKIN:

for even and fresh looking skin, i used limited edition shu uemura bb beige uv underbase (SPF30) from the mamechiyo collection. (bb stands for blemish balm; it has higher coverage to even out skin and improves the texture of skin over time). then i used shu uemura  face architect glowing fit powder foundation (which contains SPF26) in 564 (medium light sand). a powder foundation for summer time is great, it’s mattifying and doesn’t feel heavy.

CHEEKS:

use brush 20 and apply shu uemura glow on M medium peach 561 to apples of the cheeks (for dolly look apply more colour to the centre of the apple and create a gradation extending outwards). use glow on P light peach 510 to highlight cheekbones, bridge of nose and under eyes.

EYES:

  1. use drawing pencil in brown and line upper and lower lash line and smudge/soften with finger.
  2. use brush 10 and apply P light coral 131 all over lid. tip: start from lash line and create a gradation upwards covering the entire lid.
  3. use brush 10 and apply P medium brown 875 to outer corner of eye. tip: gently sweep the colour on and use patting motion to soften; this will prevent fall off of eyeshadow onto cheek
  4. use brush 11 and dab a small amount of P dark brown 895. use this to soften the edges of the medium brown shade.
  5. use brush 11 and apply P light beige 822 to brow bone and blending into the P dark brown 895.
  6. use brush 10F (flat brush) and press P medium brown 875 into outer 2/3 of lower lash line.
  7. use brush 10F and press P light coral 131 to inner 1/3 of lower lash line. (tip: if you have dark circles, apply you can extend the coral shade lower than the inner corner of your eye; this will reflect light which reduces the darkness).
  8. use brush 2R and black painting liner to line upper and lower lash line. don’t forget to fill under and in between your upper lash line to create an appearance of a fuller lash line.
  9. curl lashes and apply shu uemura ultimate expression mascara to upper and lower lashes.
  10. finish with shu uemura smoky layers false eyelashes.

left to right: ME light silver 935, ME soft gold 335, P light coral 131, ME soft pink 155,  P light green 520, P light blue 611, P medium brown 875, P dark plum 790, ME light beige, 825, P light beige 822.

LIPS:

i’m using one of the 19 new shu uemura lipstick shades. its improved formula has much higher colour payoff (higher coverage) and is more moisturizing than the previous formula. it also has great staying power. the colour i’m using is PK320 (seashell pink). the colours always look brighter in the tube, but look super natural when applied to lips.

have fun experimenting!

so many of us shy away from colours because we’re not sure how to wear them. i wanted to do a follow-up post on the one i did about sultry yellow and green makeup. the key to making colours wearable is colour placement. i’ll show with you some tips on how to do this.

i’ll be taking the same eyeshadow colours from the below look  and turning it into a wearable version on myself (please excuse the bright lighting for the photos of myself – i had to take the photos by myself on a small camera with a large flash!):

tips on how to re-create this look. you can basically do this with any colour; you just need a lighter base colour, a darker colour and a matte brown. don’t shy away from colours! :

  1. colour placement:
  • take me soft yellow 336 and apply it using brush 10 all over lid starting from the centre (close to the lash line) and blending away to create a nice gradation.
  • use brush 10 and take p dark green 595 and place the colour on the outer corner of eye (the brush is the perfect round shape to place the colour – do this by lightly pressing the eyeshadow on to avoid eyeshadow falling off onto your face) and lightly sweep it inward towards the centre of eye.
  •  take clean brush 11 and soften the edges of the dark green.
  • use brush 5R to apply me soft yellow green 432 to the inner corner of eye and lower inner 1/3 of lash line.
  1. warm up and tone down the colour with matte brownthis is my big trick on making literally any bright colour wearable. i take m dark brown 895 (i can’t live without this colour; i use it with almost every makeup look), using brush 11 and i soften the edges of the darker shade of eyeshadow. so in this case, the dark green. this automatically tones down the colours and makes it wearable.
  2. finish off with a pair of fluffy falsies. if you’d like the colour to be less “loud”, wear a pair of fluffy full lashes like shu uemura smoky layers (which is what i’m wearing in the photos), so that when your eyes are opened, the colour just peaks out from behind them. if you want the colours to really show, opt for a pair of more natural lashes like the shu uemura soft cross.
  3. get the right brushes. i know brushes can be expensive, but there’s a reason why shu uemura brushes have a higher price point. they are designed for precise colour placement and limit the fall off of eyeshadow onto your face. the kollinsky hair brushes are porous, so they pick up a lot of the eyeshadow pigment of place it directly on the eye without the pigment flying out everywhere like fluffy brushes do. to blend colour, use the flat part of the brush to create gradations, rather than fluffy brushes that tend to make the eyeshadow fall everywhere. the essential shu uemura brushes are:
  • brush 10 – for colour placement,
  • brush 11 to soften edges and blend colours together,
  • brush 5R for inner corner (so good for glitter shadows because it places the glitter where is should go without fall off)

click HERE to browse the many fun shu uemura colours. you can seriously re-create this look with any of the colours. just choose one base colour, one darker contour colour and the must-have m dark brown 895 to make it wearable. have fun with it!

for my skin, i’m using the new shu uemura whitefficient uv underbase mousse. it’s a new brightening formula, so it has a purple/pink tint to colour correct and a formula containing vitamin C, algae-white and prune extract that brightens dark spots and inhibits melanin production. the whitefficient line is my current skin care obsession! it’ll be available soon!

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