Maquia September 2013 - Black and Brown

This Maquia issue is one gift that keeps on giving - especially for us makeup geeks who love to pore ourselves over so many looks and makeup techniques in beauty magazines. For those who are bored, I promise you this will be my last installment of the Maquia series.

First of all, what blew me away about this tutorial is the amount of detail instruction, reasoning, product choosing that goes into it, not to mention that this tutorial is done twice over to accommodate different eye shapes!! That is really unheard of in the world of western makeup.

The title "シメるBLACK * ユルめるBROWN" is a bit hard for me to make sense. I wish the title is in kanji so it won't be so ambiguous but I sense that there's a trend of using katakana (Japanese characters usually used to describe foreign words), especially in fashion magazines, for pretty much any terms that are not necessarily foreign in nature. After reading through the whole article, I think the title may imply the meaning of "Constricting BLACK * Expanding BROWN" that refers to the quality of each color: black constricts and brown expands. Anyone/any native Japanese speaker care to put in their two cents?

Again, leave it to the marvelous, wondrous world of Japanese beauty to invent a very detailed techniques that differentiates the use of brown v.s. black, pencil v.s. liquid and lash line v.s. water line. This stuff is hard core as I would never use 4 different type of liners in one sitting at any moment.. well, maybe when I'm bored at home and have had my beauty sleep already :-)

Continue on, the article opens with lots of descriptions on why using a particular color (brown v.s. black) and particular form (liquid v.s. pencil) liner is more desirable at particular area of the eyes (clockwise from upper left):
  • Brown pencil is used toward the inner (medial) canthus of the upper lid to give a soft facial expression.
  • (Jet) Black pencil is used to fill in the entire waterline on the upper lid to give depth and elongation to the eye.
  • Black liquid is used on the upper lash line to close the gap between lashes and to give that "cute," beautiful look.
  • Brown liquid is used to draw a 5 millimeter flick to open up the eye, somewhat parallel (neither curving up nor town) to give a more natural look.
  • Brown pencil is used to line 1/2 along the lower waterline from medial canthus to brighten the white part of the eyes. The brown color expands and gives an illusion of "moist eyes," introspective gaze while lengthening the nose bridge. Wow.
  • Brown liquid is used to sharpen the epicanthic fold (corner of medial canthus, "little nip-tuck incision" as its literal translation). The article suggests the use of yellow-brown color to give "intense yet transparent feeling," aka so it won't look deliberate/fake. I guess epicanthic fold  is very prominent on Asian/Japanese eyes and thus the beauty of this particular tutorial that highlight such features.
Now, on to the tutorial. I've broken down the steps so each grouping is done using the same type of liner (brown pencil, then black pencil, then black liquid, then brown liquid). Just follow along the picture if you are confused. Again, pay attention to whether the direction asks for brown v.s. black, pencil v.s. liquid, and lash line v.s. waterline.

  1. Trace the upper lash line using brown pencil liner from middle of the lid towards the outer corner, extending about 2 millimeter upward. 
  2. Use short strokes to draw in the rest of the inward line. 
  3. Trace lines once again to blend using a brush.

  4. Trace upper waterline using black pencil liner from middle toward the outer corner.
  5. Fill in every nook and cranny. Trace the waterline once more using short strokes.
  6. Fill in the upper triangular portion of the outer corner.

  7. Hold the black liquid liner vertically and fill in the gaps between upper lash line.

  8. Use the brown liquid liner to trace the outer corner of the upper lash line, extending about 5 millimeter outward.
  9. In the inner corner, use the brown liquid liner to trace the lash line once more.
  10. Draw that "nip-tuck" corner using the liquid brown liner.
  11. Clean up the corner with q-tips and...

  12. Use the brown pencil liner once more to trace the lower waterline 1/2 way across.
Notice this tutorial above is done on double-lid eyes. I'm by far not an expert on Asian eye shapes -- in fact, I know almost nothing about Asian eyes, but below are the variations of the same theme done for single lid (一重目= Hitoe-me) and interior double lid (?? 奥二目 = oku butae - thanks, Kate!).

I thought those variations did a superb job translating a technique for different eye shapes -- if only Western beauty magazines are half as detailed as the Japanese counterparts..

I hope you have enjoyed these tutorials from Maquia. Do let me know if you decide to recreate any of the looks here (maybe even send me your picture, too!).

P.S. Products used for this tutorial are all Japanese, but in case you are interested, it's listed below (in parenthesis I also listed few Western alternatives that the article recommends -- if any):
  • Brown pencil: AQ MW Lasting Gel Eyeliner BR301 (Shu Uemura Lasting Soft Gel Pencil 02M)
  • Black pencil: KATE Slim Gel Pencil BK-1 (Chanel Le Crayon Kohl 01 Black, Rimmel Exaggerate Cream Eyeliner WP 001)
  • Black liquid: Coffret D'Or Black Keep Liner BK-34 (Anna Sui Cosmetics Liquid Eye Liner 001, Maybelline HyperSharp Liner N BK-1)
  • Brown liquid: Lunasol Intellectual Liquid Eye Liner N 03 (Estee Lauder Double Wear Liquid Eye liner in Brown)


  1. Fantastic post!! <3 I must try this whenever I get my hands on a brown liquid liner -- if I learned anything from the 45º epic it's that the little seemingly unimportant details REALLY count in making the look effective or just meh.

    奥二重 = hooded double lids -- i.e. double lids that have part/most of the fold hidden due to the weight of the upper lid drooping over the fold. It's called okubutae -- I only know because I haz them, lol. I also have a similar epicanthic fold to the model in that section, so am studying that section especially carefully!
    It's really interesting how the Chinese/Korean terms for eyelid foldiness blah blah are a bit different still, it seems! They seem to make a lot more distinctions which are a little more beyond me.

    1. Ahh... okubutae! Thanks for the explanation, it makes sense to me now. Yes, totally agree w/ you, it's just amazing the amount of detail & thought that they put into this tutorial that every single little detail can make/break the look.
      Also, I really think this tuto works for any eyes as it emphasizes the use of brown on the lash lines and the black on the waterline, and how the combination contracts/expands the area. I thought it was just brilliant all around.
      Let me know if you do a look, I'll be sure to link/post/tweet!

  2. Hi, just stumbled across your blog -- and what a good post to have stumbled on. This page is literally *the* thing I have been searching for forever! I always felt so neglected in eye tutorials in CanCam, PINKY, Baila anything I picked up because I felt they only served the same type of eye shape over and over... :| Thanks for scanning this in and providing your translations :) I have okubutae eyes so I'll try out the techniques in this tutorial :)

    1. Glad it's helpful for you and thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you decided to try out this tutorial and willing to share some pictures/links.