Maquia September 2013 - The Bible Part!

Continuing on with exploration of the Maquia magazine, this time I present you the insert, aptly entitled "Flawless Autumn New Color Bible" And a bible indeed it is, featuring 955 how-tos of over 71 brands! Beware, this post is picture heavy.

Pages upon pages of diagrams like this, I am having a hard time to choose just a few.

First off, there are three mini articles in regards to variation to Autumn makeup look. This one is especially of interest. It features the "sweet progressive makeup style" of French and Japanese girl

The French girl variation is coquettish with a combination of thick brows and red hues.

A liquid blush (this one by Addiction Beauty) is blended on the back of the hands and applied on the eyelids all over from the inner toward the outer corner. Brows are filled simply with powder and lips are blazing red with NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil in shade Mysterious Red (thanks Lucinda).

The Tokyo girl variation is a "profound performance of the art of layering." Really, it does not need translating judging from the 4 different eye shadows used to achieve this look: NARS singles in Bavaria (2084), Abyssinia (2083), shade 2081 (described as "navy," I couldn't find a match), and Tom Ford In the Pink trio.

This makeup is so pretty, I think it suits Spring rather than Autumn, no?
First, swipe the Abyssinia all over the lids using fingers, and take the Bavaria to layer on top, especially around the inner corner and towards the outer corner. Next, smudge the navy color close to the lash line to give a smoky look. Finish off with the lightest color of TF palette on the lower eyelid. Fresh pink cheeks and peach lips, courtesy of YSL Rouge Pur Couture 51 Corail Urbane finish the look.

Next article groups several key items based on color theme: beige, red, khaki, blue, gray and purple. Here's a sampling of it.

Yes, that's toothbrush + cup on the LH panel.

The last article discusses about "hybrid" makeup. I really don't understand what's so "hybrid" about it. For e.g. for the Neo Natural on the RH panel is to "omit line" (literal translation, but I think in this case it means to blur/blend) and instead to use shadow to emphasize the eye structure. It features NARS eye liner to tightline across the top line and a Lunasol Quad.

The direction for Neo Natural look is as follow: 1. Use mid-tone eyeshadow over moving eyelids (most Japanese magazines refer this to "eye hole" area), 2. Highlight tone under the eyebrow bone (notice, NOT under the brow itself), 3. Shading over the area nearest to the nose bridge to deepen the slope (aka contouring), 4. Highlight on the lower lids, and 5. Tightline the top lash. Honestly, I much rather want the direction on how to knit the sweater that she wears -- it looks so cozy!

Now, to the meat of the bible: the how-to diagrams. I've picked a few that features Western brand -- all from Autumn 2013 collections. They are quite self-explanatory but if you want more info, please feel free to post a comment.

YSL Quad

MAC Quint? When will this be released?

Dior Quint

Chanel Mystere Quad
Tom Ford She Wolf Trio

Our Maquia menagerie is not yet complete; in part 3, we will revisit the main magazine for more techniques in lining the eyes. Stay tuned.

P.S. Have you visited Kate the Genius Driveller yet and her renditions of Maquia menagerie of her own?


Design 101

image from wikimedia commons
"Design is organization of time and things."

A little plug for this free iversity course. Don't we all need a little design? I know I do with the little time that I have!


Thankful Tuesday

It's been doom and gloom (again!) in the Land of Lorp, but we are as cheerful as ever: who doesn't like a sick day at home?
Sick day means staying at home resting, possibly baking, cooking, tea-brewing, and sitting by the fire while knitting & listening to audiobook.
Apart from the many blessings of staying at home, we are also thankful for:

  • ToddlerLorp being a bird-poop hunter. Yes, after exhausting all neighborhood squirrels, the Toddler now gets smart and realizes that bird poops are easier target. They are on the ground, they don't move, and they come in many patterns, textures, and shapes. He is so excited to see them, I just wish he wouldn't say "Hi, bird poop!!!!!" with his loud, outside voice when there's another person nearby. "Oh, he sure is cute, your son, he's so friendly!" headdesk
  • A good lipbalm, given by a budding mom-scientist friend
  • A slice of banana bread, fresh out of the oven (or the toaster on the next day)
  • Clean bathroom + sink
  • Clear nose (after days of sniffles)
  • Good neighbors that money can't buy
  • Sweet kabocha squash that money can buy
  • A heart-warming viral video here
  • A pair of warm slippers
  • A good night sleep
Finally, very thankful to be surrounded of all the wonderful bloggers I met along this journey: please see my Nap-Time reading and read them out!

What are you thankful for? Do share with us your gratitude for the day.


Maquia September 2013 - Part 1

Inspired by Kate the Genius Driveller and her equally genial post of recent Maquia edition, I tried to hunt down a Maquia back issue that I saw a while ago at local Japanese bookstore. Lo and behold, not only the issue is still available, it is a steal at $5 (I think normally $12 here)! This issue came with samples of L'Occitane hair care, but who cares, give me the geeky stuff, please!

Maquia is indeed a makeup geek's nirvana. It is replete full of how-to diagrams to satisfy the inner artist/color-by-number-ist in all of us. Leave it to the wonderful Japanese beauty magazines to invent a new level of makeup precision. It even comes with a pull-out section with millions of geeky tutos, featuring the Fall palettes. Here's just one spread of eye diagrams -- a teaser for part 2 of this blog post's installment.
There are pages and pages of makeup diagrams, just in the small booklet!!

I read an equivalent of first-grader Japanese so, let me take a moment to thank the Driveller Kate herself for tremendous help of translation for this blogpost. She even did a bit of a research behind this story, so ありがとう, Kate!!

The main issue features diagonal makeup. If this is not the stuff of geekiness, I don't know what is.

The makeup artist, Chiharu Iwasaki, explained the inspiration behind this angular theory. She is a retired performer of Takarazuka Revue - a dancing/singing troupe, perhaps a Japanese equivalent to NYC Broadway troupe. Here's a video of Takarazuka performing Romeo and Juliet which is quite impressive! As someone who grew up reading Japanese manga such as Candy Candy or Rose of Versailles (as mentioned by Kate here) this is just right up my alley.

O.k. steering back from my excitement, this 45 degree makeup placement adds dimension to the flat-faced artists due to plaster-like stage makeup (think of the flat-faced Kabuki performers). It is an intentional, exaggeration of 3D-ness of the face. You can see how it applies in stage makeup itself here done by another ex-Takarazuka performer. This Maquia article explains how to translate this theory into real-life makeup.

Whether you read Japanese or not,  the diagrams in this article are very much self-explanatory. Here's a how-to on applying the theory to apply powder blush (G) on step 8, and powder highlighter (H) on steps 9 and 10...

... eye shadow.. overwhelmingly detailed with instructions galore. Step eleven suggests placing the darker shade on the corner at 45 angle upwards, followed by highlight shade in the middle of the moving eyelid on step 12. Step thirteen is to add the dark shade along the bottom lid, again at 45 degree outward from the pupil. The rest of the steps are I think self-explanatory.
Equal-opportunity application calls for finger, brush, and sponge-tip applicator. The humble sponge-tip applicator is growing on me as the tool of choice for applying powdery/glittery shadow. It packs the product nicely and precisely and suitable for highlighting the inner corner on step no. 19. The liners are layered from pencil to liquid/pen liner. A close up detail on the products they use for this tutorial (I only recognize the Tom Ford Quad in 08 Sahara Haze).

... you can even apply the theory on lips. They used NARS Satin Lip Pencil #9204 (Biscayne Park) and MAC Creamsheen in Calypso Bite.

... hair and a 45 degree selfie!
Ahh.. isn't she lovely?

Of particular usefulness is the application of this theory to apply pink shadow. Pink shadow always makes me look like I just got pinkeye, literally.
It directs the placement of bright pink color on the outer 45 degree region of the eye, using finger to blend .. "to achieve graceful look without looking swollen." Who doesn't want that? I tried this using several blush color and the result is quite nice, even for deep-set eyes like mine. 

I hope you have enjoyed this snippet as much as I have had fun with this magazine; there are so many other tips in this one article alone, I wish I can share them all with you! If you have access to a Japanese bookstore, I think this edition is definitely worth a look-see.


Thankful Thursday!

The Toddler sanitizing his Rhino friend's hands. Stay healthy, everyone!
We should be thankful everyday, right? So, today, is Thankful Thursday!

This past week have been especially hard on me. First, my nanny decided to pursue other things, which we are happy to support, but that means leaving us behind. There is nothing worse than not having childcare for working parents, really. It's like you are handed the pink slip yourself, except that you haven't done anything wrong and you thought everything goes well as it is. Second, I feel depleted physically and mentally lately. I don't know if the Toddler is requiring extra energy these days, or my attention has been divided between taking care of a kid, a household, and work on top of finding a replacement childcare. I just feel overall pessimism about the future. My glass is not even half-empty, it has been dry ages ago; somebody pour me some wine, please!

When I feel down, I feel jealousy start to creep in. Just a small chitchat with a friend who are having a date night with her husband made me want to punch her outright. The giggling video of my lovely nieces inspires the bitter sarcasm. The world is just ugly.

Time and time again, I know the antidote to these ugly yuckiness is by expressing gratitude. I usually start where I am, what I can access at this moment. If I can't be thankful for the world peace, I won't start there!

Usually, I start to be thankful about having a roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep each night, and meals three times daily. Next, I'm thankful about the nice weather we have today, the fact that I still have a running, working car to go to work, and the nanny that takes care of the Toddler so I can go to work. I'm thankful that the Toddler is sleeping now, and I have time to write this post. Thankful about being able to knit while listening to my audiobook. Thankful that the Toddler told his nanny today, "I want mama, please."  Thankful for tomorrow where I look forward to share more giggles, laughters and silliness with him. Thankful for PapaLorp who is working hard to provide us with all these material comfort.

Yes, a date night would be nice. But with so many things to be thankful for, my glass is filled again... even if it is not all the way to the top.

What kind of "ugliness" do you feel when the world seems to turn against you? Have you try the gratitude antidote?


From the Land of Lorp Featured in The Skincare Diaries!

My Skincare Routine

My Skincare Routine by declairelegenou featuring botanics skin care

Blogging for me started with a small group of new friends, all new moms, who are eager to write while our children are napping. Somewhere along the way, I meet some generous, lovely, funny, smart, engaging bloggers like Gummy Vision, whose beauty musings are thoroughly entertaining yet informative. Most importantly, she is always so friendly and upbeat, even in her comments and tweets, that I keep visiting her blog again and again.

Today, I share my skincare routine plus a product review, what an honor! Flock away to her blog and have a look here.


I got duped: Skincare and Makeup Fails

O.k. noone was duping me into anything. I got myself duped, by myself. Apart from my best judgement, careful spending, meticulous planning, I inevitably bought things that I later regret. Why? See if you can find a pattern & read on below.

Aesop Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream
I don't know what I was eating when I thought putting a cream containing rosemary essential oil is such a good idea. It's good for your lamb roast but not so much for the eyes (it stings!). While the rest of the ingredients in this thankfully not-so-expensive high-end cream are decent, the essential oil combo is not. And it left welts on my skin. Thanks! Now I have an overpriced, non-portable but great smelling hand cream sitting on my desk.

Creme de la Mer Moisturizing Cream
I received two sample pots during an event at Nordstrom, I was very tempted to get the full size for my notoriously dry skin. So many women out there love this cream, they couldn't be wrong, right?
Wow, this must be the queen of skincare temptress. Not that I hate petrolatum (the second ingredient and unfortunately, the nemesis of many), but petrolatum + soapy fragrance + exorbitant price = what am I thinking?? I've seen many better. Glad I didn't press the "Place my Order" button on this one. I couldn't even finish the sample pot before my skin started to break out.

Sekkisei Lotion Excellent
The second ingredient in this "moisturizing" toner is alcohol. If that is not an oxymoron, I don't know what is. Yet, I somehow think if Asian women have glowing skin, why oh why can't I? I guess I was dozing off when I purchased this and hoping that it will somehow rejuvenate my parched skin. My eczema spots flared up as soon as I used this, requiring a week worth of calming from my trusty, prescription-strength cortisone cream.

Guerlain Ecrin 2 Couleurs in Two Lovely 07
My SIL and I went to a Guerlain event in her local Neiman's back in the summer (which also included a visit to DryBar detailed here). I picked the Katy Navy liner and the 4-Season Bronzer. She picked this eye shadow duo and some other items. Two Lovely is a combo of greyish teal with sparkling aquamarine. It looked amazing on her and I'm a sucker for anything teal: it brings out the copper tone my dark brown eyes. Naturally, she and I traded items before I went home and she gave me this for my bronzer.
Alas, I got duped!! Although the color is lovely, the texture is dry and hard. The sparkly aquamarine? A glitter mess that falls off as soon as I put it on. I think this is salvageable with a decent eye primer, but who wants to add a step when you normally don't need it? Plus, bonne chance of getting my SIL to trade back the bronzer, of course she loves it.

So, do you see any pattern whatsoever on why I kept picking duds and got duped into products I don't need? I don't. LOL. If you do, please let me know. If you don't, do you have any skincare/makeup fails recently?