Sunday, April 2, 2006

Makeup 'trial'

Ah gone are the days of the free Shiseido Studio and the next best thing we're left with is Shu Uemura. On the tip of a friend who sent me this info:
Eminent Japanese makeup artist Shu Uemura got his start in 1950s Hollywood beautifying movie stars like Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine before moving on to develop his own skincare line and run a private makeup atelier in Tokyo. Mr. Uemura opened his first boutique in Japan in 1983, and has since expanded his artistic empire to locations around the world. New York's flagship store offers the full range of his cosmetic and skincare creations, as well as signature beauty tools like his much-celebrated eyelash curler and handmade sable and goat-hair makeup brushes. The boutique's minimalist design keeps the spotlight on the colorful products, and four stations stockpiled with testers encourage customers to sample the goods. There's even a sink where you can try the brand's revered Cleansing Oils. The most unique feature, however, is the Tokyo Lash Bar, where customers can choose from false eyelashes of all colors and sizes and enjoy free applications. (The brand is known for creating fab lashes, including mink and diamond ones for Madonna and Oprah.) In back are two private studios where, by appointment, makeup expert Soul Lee teaches clients how to apply a customized color palette, shape their brows, and apply lashes. The latest trend in eyewear-individual lash extensions-is also offered.

Bridal parties can book after-hours atelier services for up to twenty people, with Champagne and hors d'oeuvres included. The best part: the price of the service is redeemable in products.
I went to check it out on Saturday. Unlike the Shiseido Studio of yore where there was absolutely no selling of products, I felt like there was at least some hard-selling involved at Uemura. The makeup artist that worked on me (Jason) was alright but I don't think that he did his best to accentuate the positive and deaccentuate the negative. If I had the perfect face I think his work would have been really great (a simple, understated look that's not too over-the-top but not too plain and ordinary). In the pictures that I took of myself, depending on how I angled my face, I looked either alright or bad. So if I angled my face just so, I would look nice for pictures but not terribly great in person. However, I learned some interesting/useful tips from Jason:
  • using a sponge to apply oil-free liquid foundation, tap foundation on to get the most out of it (instead of smoothing it over the skin)
  • put concealer on top of the foundation so that it matches well
  • use eye concealer and foundation above eyes to open up the eyes by brightening that area (he also lightened the inside corner of my eye using light eyeshadow, or some other powder that I don't remember anymore but I think he had said to use an angled brush)
  • he applied a very light blush instead of a bronzer for me, and then a slightly darker (but still quite light) rose color on the apple of the cheek so he said if I were to do my own makeup on the big day, put on the blush and then put on five times more b/c it's so subtle that it's not noticeable otherwise
  • his idea for a 'bridal look' is a flawless face (quite a bit of foundation, concealer) and simple makeup
  • to apply a strip of false eyelashes, first put it gently on the lid to measure how much to use, cut it to length and then put a small bead of glue to put it in place (I think he squeezed out a circle of glue and used the back of his tweezers to apply the glue -- the details are a little fuzzy now)
  • he applied waterproof liquid eyeliner before and after applying the false eyelashes (interesting that he applied this using another brush and was able to 'paint' it on)
  • he emphasized the importance of exfoliating, especially for oily skin (like mine); he said it's OK to lightly exfoliate daily with a towel
  • also exfoliate the lips with a toothbrush
  • put foundation on the lips as well to make lipstick last longer (not sure if I agree with this one as I've read contrary opinions)
  • use primer before applying the foundation to make makeup last longer (I already knew this but it bears repeating)
  • for oily skin, apply a colorless matte powder to control shine
  • tweezing eyebrows is better than waxing b/c it's not as irritating to the skin
  • he drew my brows in pretty thick b/c of the 'dramatic' arch of my right brow (not sure I like bushy brows though)
Because the place was so hot (A/C not working and the bright bulbs around all the tables were blazing hot) I think he applied more foundation than normal b/c he wanted to cover all the red and I was totally flushed. One good thing about Uemura is that their background is makeup so I think they have more color selection than Shiseido. But still not sure if they have the best products for me.

If I were to actually use the makeup artists at Uemura for the wedding day, I'd have to call them about a month in advance and book them for $75 if I go to the boutique (they open at 11am on Saturdays) or if a person came to me, it would be $200-250. Supposedly they only schedule appointments about 2 weeks in advance and he said that even he doeosn't know his schedule so far ahead b/c he travels a lot. This 'trial' was pretty much free but I felt guilty after he created a chart of all that he did for me, even coloring in the diagram with the stuff that he used. So after he kept telling me to look over the chart, when he asked me if I wanted to buy any of the products, I caved and bought the matte powder.
(I didn't get to keep the chart so it was not very useful for me anyway -- boo!) Also, if you want to try their lashes, you have to buy the pack ($12), plus the glue ($5). I couldn't resist buying a set b/c I really wanted to see how it's applied (not sure if I have the hang of it yet though). But I forgot, are these lashes reusable? Well anyway, this 'trial' turned out to be about $50 but at least I have something that I can keep using so kinda worth it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I asked about the Shu Uemura lashes at Neiman today and they said the lashes were reusable.