From picking the right shade to perfecting the application strokes, shu uemura shows how to create chic, wearable red lipstick looks. Here, Julie Tan models for us.
Anyone can assert that every woman needs a red lipstick, but few can show you how to flaunt it with flair. Beyond offering an impressively wide selection of reds, not least the iconic RD163 which complements all Asian skin tones, Japanese beauty brand shu uemura also provides the essential tools and expertise to help every woman create her very own distinctively chic red-lip look.
In time for the Lunar New Year, we asked shu uemura to create two wearable yet stylish looks for Singapore actresses Julie Tan and He Ying Ying – looks that go from day to night with a few tweaks. The results? Stunning. Both artistes really rocked their red-lippie looks, which were perfectly designed to suit each individual’s unique features and personalities.
The Tokyo Edge
Drawing inspiration from Japan’s fashion capital, shu uemura Singapore certified makeup artist Jonathan Barrera created personalised looks for Julie and Ying Ying that captured the edgy chic spirit of the quintessential trendy Tokyoite. Red lips were the focal point, but by varying lip hues and textures, and tweaking the eye, brow, and cheek makeup, Jon was able to fashion two gorgeous and distinctive looks for each celebrity.
What struck Jon most about Julie was her cool, audacious attitude. “With her features, Julie can pull off a really edgy red-lip look,” says Jon. And that is precisely what he has created for her: a daring do combining bold red lips with eye makeup in the same hue.
Lips Julie wears the limited edition rouge unlimited in matte RD163. To borrow the words of Uchiide-san, the brand’s international artistic director, this shade is “a pure, timeless red”. “RD163 has the right balance of yellow and blue tones to match any Asian skin tone, be it dark olive, fair or pinkish,” adds Jon. “And because the colour is buildable, you can experiment with different application techniques to bring out the attitude you want to exude.”
I didn’t think that I could pull off this shade and it surprisingly worked. I like the RD163 shade the most and can’t wait to wear it this Chinese New Year.
Eyes Jon dusted a beige eyeshadow in pearl finish on the midsection of Julie’s upper eyelid, which he described as a “point of light”. At the outer corners of her eyes he added a touch of matte red eyeshadow which he smudged lightly. “Women tend to avoid red eyeshadow for fear of making their eyes look puffy, but Julie was game to go red,” says Jon. “The trick is to use a flat red eyeshadow in a matte finish so that it will not reflect light.” To give her eyes more “lift”, Jon not only lined her waterlines in black, but also thickened the line towards the outer edges of her upper lids. “This subtle stroke has an energising effect,” says Jon.
Brows Using brow hard formula in acorn 06, Jon filled in Julie’s brows following their natural shape.
Cheeks To complement Julie’s red eyeshadow and lip tint, Jon used orange blush 560. This shade also achieved the dual effect of adding colour to her complexion and giving Julie’s cheekbones more definition. “With this, there is no need to use another product to bring out her facial contours,” says Jon. With firm, deft strokes, he applied the blush diagonally in and downwards from the outer corners of her cheekbones to her nose, and then softened the colour with light, downward strokes.
Amping up the look
Lips Jon sought to create an unconventional graphic look that’s guaranteed to turn heads. First, he used the new limited edition metallic lip liner in gold WOW to accentuate Julie’s cupid’s bow and the outer corners of her bottom lip. Next, using the 6F brush, he blended the gold liner with a dabbing motion to create a gradation.
Eyes Jon extended the black eyeliner on Julie’s upper and lower eyelids to create beautiful wing tips. Then, just above the black line, he added a bold red wing, using the rouge unlimited matte RD163 as an eyeliner with the 4F brush. To set the line, he dusted on some matte red eye shadow. Next, he traced the outer half of the lower lash line with matte red eye shadow. “By using the lipstick as an eyeliner and then setting it with matte eyeshadow, I can achieve a more vibrant and intense red,” explains Jon. The result was both interesting and eye-catching.
Cheeks More blush was added to balance the overall look.
More than Colour
When it comes to red lipstick, how you apply it is just as important as the shade you pick. You can create many effects using a single lipstick. For a more understated look, Jon suggests smudging the lipstick on with just a pinch of colour. “There’s also the ombre look that’s been trending for some time now, where you focus on the inner part of the pout and create a gradation outwards to create the illusion of thinner lips,” adds Jon. Or, you could go bold, where you opt for “full coverage and very well-defined lips”. As Jon put it, it all depends on your application.
The Prime Step
Beauty maestro Mr Shu Uemura always said, “Beautiful makeup starts with beautiful skin.” The same goes for lip makeup, says Jon, which is why it’s important to prepare the lips before applying lipstick. Jon recommends using shu uemura re:set tint remover & lip conditioner as a prep step, to remove all traces of makeup that may be lingering on the lips. This marvel worker also gently exfoliates your pout, leaving it softer and smoother, which in turn helps lip colour glide on and last longer. All it takes is two to three pumps of re:set on a cotton pad, which you leave on the lips for about five seconds before gently wiping off.
Symmetry & Definition: The shu uemura Way
When applying an intense and vivid lip colour like red, achieving symmetry and definition is especially important. The wonder tool that many makeup artists swear by is none other than the 6F brush. The other secret to gorgeous red lips is shu uemura’s seven-step application technique, using this brush.
If like Julie, you love a pure red lippie, shu uemura rouge unlimited RD163 could be the shade for you. The new year limited edition RD163 comes in a lush, festive red packaging, and is available in four finishes: satin, matte, matte glitter, and shine with holographic effect. Also part of the flaming reds new year limited edition collection are other trendy lip hues in various textures, metallic lip liners in gold WOW and bronze OHH, and three of shu uemura’s best-loved icons, namely the ultime8 sublime beauty cleansing oil, hard formula, and petal 55 foundation brush.