Saturday, April 9

Shu Uemura

Shu Uemura is quickly becoming one of my favorite lines. About a week ago I went to Barney's with my little sister where she picked up some face-care basics:

The High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil takes a little bit of getting used to. I was very skeptical that an oil could clean and refresh my skin (it just sounds so... oily) but this light formula really does its job. After softly smoothing it around your skin, you just splash some water on your face and the oil turns into a milky cleanser that washes right off. It thoroughly rids the skin of make-up (even waterproof) and impurities but it leaves the skin soft and balanced. Although I love the results, I haven't quite committed myself to switching to this oil yet. But this is a good alternative to those of you that have overly sensitive skin or blemished skin.

The Depsea Therapy Moisture Recovery Equiwater is actually used like a toner. After cleansing, you apply this to your skin using soft cotton pads. Most toners from other lines are meant to wipe away excess dirt from your skin that your cleanser left behind. Since the Cleansing Oil does its job so well, the sole purpose of the toner is to balance and tone the skin and prepare it for moisturizer. I love the clean, refreshing scent of the Equiwater- it also serves as a cleansing water to refresh your face in the middle of the day.

The Depsea Therapy Moisture Recovery Emulsion is a water-based moisturizer. Sometimes even oily complexions can have dehydrated skin. This moisturizer is great for infusing water back into the skin but not leaving any shine or oily residue.

..So after trying her products, I decided it was time for me to go and see what they could do for me. I have very "normal" skin. It's not dry (although sometimes harsh cleansers will definitely dry out my cheeks) and it's not oily. I don't normally do the whole cleanse-tone-moisturize routine twice a day. Okay, I rarely even do it everyday (I tend to get lazy). I only cleanse in the shower and I only moisturize when I need it. So recently I've been noticing that although my skin is hydrated and blemish-free, it's very dull. You know how your skin looks the morning after a long night out? That's me without make-up. Unfortunately, I can't wear foundation all day in this Los Angeles heat and definitely NOT to the gym. So I went to the Shu Uemura counter for help.

They prescribed me the same toner (which was great because I was already planning on stealing my sister's) and some ß-G Reinforcing Gel Cream. They quickly cleansed and toned my skin and then applied the gel cream. I literally saw a difference right away. The gel cream strengthens weakened skin by infusing vitamins.. and what I saw immediately was that my skin was more "plump" and it was glowing. (And I touched my face... the glow was NOT from oil)

My only vice is that the gel cream comes in a tub rather than a pump. I tend to get paranoid about bacteria and other dirty things transferring into my make up so I usually opt for a pump dispenser whenever possible.

Then they showed me the UV Under Base SPF 8 which is a "mousse foam makeup base that is light-textured and helps brighten skin". It's actually tinted so it can be used alone to subtly even out skin tone (they only have one shade but I've been assured that it works on all skin colors) and minimize the appearance of pores. For heavier make-up days, this works as a foundation primer, by filling in your pores so that foundation comes on smoothly and looks natural. But what I like best about it is that it is so light and sheer I can use it daily for my "no make up" looks... because really, in this heat I can't afford to put on a lot of make up just to make it look like I don't have any make up on. Plus, since it technically isn't make-up, I can wear it to the gym and it won't sweat off or cause breakouts.

So with all of the above on, my skin instantly looked new and refreshed. I was convinced.

So the last thing I had to tackle on my list was some Spring eyeshadow. I've seen all the new bright pastel colors and I wanted some. But I didn't want to risk looking like a teenager on her way to a rave with glitter make-up.

They gave me a very, very light shimmery purple. I was skeptical. They assured me that purples would be good for my eye color (brown) so I tried it, knowing it would be too light for me. But then they showed me how to apply it... I've never done single colors before... I usually stick to palettes where I can control the shadowing... and I was pleasantly surprised. It actually looked good!

So here's the secret to applying a light sheer color. (Keyword here is sheer)
1) Tilt your head up so that you are looking down at yourself in the mirror. That way, your eyes are almost closed but you can still see out. Also, you can see the shape of your eyeball on your lid, and it gives you kind of an outline of where to start and stop.

2) Use a flat, rounded brush (like the one below) and position it so it is perpendicular to your lash line with the brush pointing down and the handle pointing up. Slowly pat the brush as close to the lashline as possible and slowly bring the brush up in small strokes, building the color from the lashline and fading out as you get to the top of your eyeballs. (This will make more sense when you're actually looking at yourself in the mirror, I promise) The key here is to make sure that you fill in the entire space above the lashline, because if you leave spots of bare skin then the application will look messy and unnatural.

3) Take it slow and apply layer by layer until you are satisfied with the color.

That's it! Easy schmeasy. It's all in how you hold the brush :)