Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tutorial: Neutral Sculpted Look

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but when I was younger I used to be very self-conscious about my uneven lids. Oh, the tons of pictures I now regret deleting, just because at that time I couldn't bear my "hideous" eyes. I've largely made peace with it. I know I can't change that part of myself, and frankly, not many people notice until I point it out anyway.

But because of that, I don't do what I call "Asian makeup" very often. I prefer looks that give me more drama on the eyes, just because that would allow me to even out my eyes a little. Well, last week I threw on an outfit that felt very Japanese/Taiwanese (I'm abusing stereotypes in this post. Forgive me) and I thought I should have the makeup to go with it. It was a first for me, going for such a clean look, but guess what, it's now stored under my list of favorites waiting to be reused.

For a supposedly simple look, there are a lot of products and steps involved. I have the tendency to complicate simple things, so my apologies. Below is the breakdown for each part:

I combed my hair pin straight instead of leaving it as the scrunched up messiness you usually see on here. You're looking (perhaps for the first time) at my hair as it naturally is.

I wanted the skin to look flawless and glowy (let's ignore the dry bits. It's winter). I've been obsessed with dewy skin recently, and have always been curious about how to achieve it without becoming an oil mess within an hour. I think I just might have gotten it.

I started by prepping the skin with Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer, then applied a pump of Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base all over the skin. Next, I swept a light pink highlighter all over the face (Guerlain Cruel Gardenia), and only then I applied Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge #2 as my foundation. Finally, I used a finishing powder to seal everything in. It is important to avoid mattifying powders because well, that defies the entire purpose. My loose powder of choice is Le Métier de Beauté Classic Flawless Finish Loose Powder #1 (which incidentally, has been discontinued by the company. If it is your HG, stock up while it lasts). Best thing is, all of these products were so lightweight I hardly felt anything on my skin (that's five layers we're talking about). It definitely felt like a rock star after such attention.  

Shade in your eyebrows following your natural shape. 

I used a pearly white shade as an all-over lid wash (I used Bobbi Brown Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Opal 13), then lined my eyes with the tiniest flick of wings with MAC Fluidline in Midnight Blues and Le Métier de Beauté Precision Eye Liner in Noir. If you look closely at the second picture you can see the blue underneath the black. I used the remnants of blue ink on my brush to line my bottom lash line one-third of the way, then used Le Métier de Beauté Sugar to highlight the inner corners as well as the rest of the bottom lash line to give the appearance of wider eyes. 

Lashes were courtesy of Guerlain Noir G Mascara, the best curling, separating, lengthening, potentially volumizing mascara I've used in my life. 

I contoured my cheeks using Burberry Light Glow in Earthy Blush No. 07 and created the faintest of flushes with Le Métier de Beauté Romeo and Juliet Blushing Bronze Duet

I went for a semi-matte pink (think natural looking) shade, courtesy of Paul and Joe Lipstick C in 076 Meow!

And done! I hope you enjoyed my sudden tutorial. If you are inspired to recreate the look, please share it with us via Facebook. I would love to see it!


  1. You look great with both dramatic and natural makeup, Xiao! I love it when you smile, because that's what gets my attention first :)

  2. I too have uneven eyelids!! So I feel like my eye make up looks better on one eye than the other even though I've used the same technique on both... :( It's just the different folds. ANYWAY, your skin looks flawless! x

  3. I have uneven eyes too. It doesn't bother me too much most of the time, but it makes it really, really hard for me to take flattering pictures of myself - I always look extremely lopsided because my face just isn't symmetrical.

    You look beautiful, as always!

  4. I never even noticed your eye were uneven before. I'm always stunned by your gorgeousness! Going to try those 5 products as a base today-I have all of them except for the LMDB loose powder and your skin looks flawless!

  5. I have uneven eyelids as well. One is more open than the other.

    And you were right - I never noticed that about you.

    Love your hair by the way!

  6. Xiao, your eyes are lovely. I showed your picture to my husband who likes to point out how one of our 4 month old daughter's lids is more hooded than the other (she is mix Asian and Caucasian). Mine are like that too. He never noticed how EVERYONE is assymetrical. I believe there are several studies showing that people prefer slight asymetry (though they are largely unaware of it). Anyway, you are beautiful and I love your posts!

  7. Wow...I actually DIDN'T EVEN notice you had uneven eyelids until you said that first paragraph in this post! This just means that I'm really unobservant or that you're just so gorgeous that it doesn't even matter! :)

    LOL I think I need to go get my eyes checked or something xD

  8. I've been following your blog for awhile and I never noticed your eyelids till I read about it today. I love your eyeliner in this post!

  9. I like this look! Its very subtle Asian and what asymmetrical lids? Dammit I haven't been paying attention :P

  10. Ahaha everyone didn't know about my lopsided eyes! I shouldn't have mentioned it then :P also, can i just say how much I adore you guys for sharing. I always thought I was quite alone in my uneven eyes.

    Sunny- Thank you :)

    Michelle- I understand, as you can see :P Thank you!

    Project Swatch- it's all in the angles, my friend :D

    Tracy- aww you <3 let me know how it goes!

    annie- :) I could get used to having straight hair, actually...

    Anonymous- thank you for the kind words :) I hope your husband comes to embrace it!

    Maggie- eep :P Well, I do apply makeup to even out the lids usually, and the angles I photograph myself from usually lessens the asymmetry. Your eyes are perfectly fine!

    Roberta- thank you :)

    Paris- teehee.

  11. i have never found a blogger that is the same ethnicity as me :) love your tutorial!

  12. What a nice look... I must admit I prefer natural looks for my everyday makeup and only dramatic ones when I want to practice or for blogging purposes. Hace a nice day!!!

  13. I have never noticed your uneven eyelids. You have flawless skin, so celebrate that! And perfect shiny hair too :)


    Larie told me you also had this issue but I never would have noticed it otherwise. I can't wear eyeliners because it emphasizes the difference so much - and I feel like it's becoming worse as the years pass. I can live with it but I'd like to not, to be honest.

  15. Liz - I so thought of you in this post!! So now - no excuses, get to playing up those gorgeous peepers of yours! :)

    And Xiao - this looks lovely! It's the perfect Wintery / beginning of Spring look, unlike anything else I've seen you post but gorgeous just the same. I really like the way you lined your eyes, it looks so sooty yet clean, somehow.

  16. I didn't even notice any asymmetry until you pointed it out! I have really skewed lips, and have done the same as you, deleting a ton of pictures when I was more self-conscious about them. I still try to angle my face a certain way to minimize their appearance.

    But you're so pretty, with such amazing bone structure, I think that's all anyone notices in your pictures. =)

    I just got the Guerlain mascara, and am terrified to use it. For the insane price, it better be the best mascara IN THE WORLD, or there will be much angryface.


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