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"Beauty FAQs (12 March 2013): Eyeshadow for your eye color, working with pale shadow, blush tips, skincare, and what makeup I wear in daily life!"

How do (or do you) use all of the very light colors in something like the 88 warm palette? Aside from regular brow and highlight colors, I wasn’t sure if you had some more creative uses :) thanks! Your blog is absolutely the best.

Thank you! That’s a problem I have with the palette as well! There are just too many of them and they’re all so similar.

I’m sure you already know to use them on your brow-bone, the inner corner of your eyes and down the center of your eyes for looks. 

The other way you can try to use them up (if you are quite light-skinned) is to use a big brush, pick up a mixture of a few shades, and then use that as a cheek highlight. The less shimmery shades would also work around the edge of your the cupid’s bow to make your lips fuller looking.

But other than this, I really don’t have that much use for them either LOL!

how do you get such clear skin?

I have normal/combination skin that tends to be oilier around the nose, inner cheeks, and chin, and here’s a current routine. But then I think a lot of it also has to do with the fact that I’m 31 and my skin’s started to calm down a lot (in the oil department) compared to my younger years.

Some ground-rules I established over the years:

  1. Be very thorough but be gently (with cleansing); I always make sure my makeup remover can dissolve oil because this removes everything quickly without you having to tug and rub too much, and I follow that with a gentle cleanser.
  2. Exfoliate, but exfoliate gently; I’ve had better results using night treatments about 2 times a week, that remove dead cells chemically (i.e. products with lactic acid, salicylic acid, etc) than physical exfoliators like scrubs and brushes, which don’t really clear out the pores no matter what they claim
  3. Wash your brushes and sponges religiously; a lot of times, it’s not your makeup breaking you out. It’s your unwashed applicators. I wash powder brushes about 1-2 times a week, and I wash brushes that I use for creamy/liquid products (concealer, foundation, cream blush, lipstick, etc) after EVERY use because they trap dirt and breed bacteria faster. If I have an active blemish or breakout,I apply makeup to that area last and wash any brush that comes into contact with the area immediately after use. This way, I minimize transferring acne bacteria from one area to another.
  4. Sanitize your face makeup once in awhile; once every 2 weeks, I’ll spritz rubbing alcohol over the surface of my concealers, pressed powders and any blushes that I used recently. During application, you can transfer skin cells and bacteria onto the surface of your product. (I also get a clean napkin and wipe the top layer off my concealers before spraying because you get little clumps of skin cells and dirt building up on it after awhile.)

What are some tips you have on putting on blush? Whenever I put it on it makes my face seem chubbier when is really frustrating it since I use makeup to make it seem more slim!

It sounds like you might be applying it a little too low. All these makeup magazines keep telling us to smile and apply blush to our apples, but that’s not accurate. You should be applying it near the TOPS of your cheeks and diagonally up and out along your cheekbones, not the center. This visually lifts your face structure. (Of course if you have a very long and narrow face shape, then don’t).

The other thing is blush isn’t the best product for contouring and sculpting. It is meant to draw the eye to an area, not to make it recede, so if you are applying it right to the fleshy pad of the cheek (too low), you will likely be emphasizing what you want people not to look at. You might want to look for a matte bronzer and use a big brush to run that all around the outer edges of your face and along your cheekbones first, THEN apply your regular blush just slightly higher than that.

Here’s a very subtle contouring guide that might make it more visual.

Hi, do you do your make up everyday? I mean, you do colorful eyeshadows and others, do you really wear them the whole day even in work? I just wondered how you manage to wear and work those make up with your clothes. I don’t mean anything bad. I understand that some posts were for performances requests. I see your make ups were pretty much expensive so. I just wondered if you took it off immediately after you photograph. I appreciate your artistry. Maybe you could also post your OOTD’s soon :)

I work in a conservative environment, so I stick with neutrals or slightly softer colors. For the weekends, I have no problem wearing a purple lip or a super-black smoky eye out, but I’m no fashionista (I’m too lazy to obsess about makeup AND clothes at the same time); so it would bore you – and me – to tears if I did outfits of the day!

I DO take off my makeup right after tutorials quite often, because I do them in the evenings or on weekend mornings when I have some quiet time, and I’m usually not going out anywhere. But I don’t think it’s wasted because without this blog, I’d never finish most of it anyway!

I guess the main thing is that this isn’t really the “beauty-journal” type of blog where I detail what I’m using and wearing daily, as there are so many great beauty journals already. Think of this as a “Look Book” sort of blog, where you can find some tips on makeup basics, but mainly get ideas and inspiration on the days when you want to think OUT of the box and step beyond your comfort zone just a little.

Can you suggest a YSL Foundation that has a good coverage? 😊

I’m afraid I’ve got so many foundations I’m trying to get through that I haven’t checked out any of YSL’s! I’d recommend going to and searching for all YSL foundations, then sorting it by “highest rated”. This way, you get a much more accurate average review of all of them than just based on my word alone!

What makeup would work well with hazel eyes?

Disclaimer: I get so many questions about this same topic that I feel a need to first remind all of you of a few things.Would you believe I’ve gotten 4 identical questions on Hazel eyes just this week alone? 

  • Choosing shadows based on your eye color is really quite an old-fashioned concept so please DON’T obsess over this too much. You are MORE than your eye color and getting that perfect shadow that makes your eye color pop is not going to suddenly make your face look gorgeous. It’s just eye color.
  • IF your makeup look is about your blush or a strong lipstick, think about what shadow complements the overall look. Not what shadow brings out your eyes. A red or burgundy lipstick can bring out green eyes beautifully too. 

Sometimes I don’t feel like answering, because more of you are going to think “THERE IS A RIGHT SHADE TO WEAR WITH MY EYES. I NEED TO FIND IT.” There isn’t any “right” or “perfect” shade, but I’ll just run through Color Theory with you since so many of you are interested.


Look at the color wheel above as reference point.

  • Complementary shades (similar color to your eyes) will bring them out beautifully as long as you pick a soft tone that isn’t so strong and bright that it competes with your eyes. Hazel eyes are in the olive-yellow category (different people have different proportions of brown and green so you might lean closer to green or gold). A complementary shade would be anything in and beside the same slot as your eye color. (Meaning greens and golds also work for hazel eyes.)
  • A contrasting shade can also brighten your eyes. This would be the red-violet family if you are hazel.

We wear white liner to whiten our eyes, and blue-based lipsticks to make our teeth whiter, so it’s complete rubbish to say you can’t wear green if you have green eyes.

The same guidelines apply for any other eye color except black-brown eyes, which sort of go with everything but don’t really pop with any color either. 

Now that’s said and done, please remember even if you find a “perfect” shade of shadow that makes your eyes pop, if it doesn’t work with the rest of your face and makeup, it’s not going to work. Stop fussing over your eye color!

Can you put together a look for nude colored lips? I have no idea what to do with my eyes and I’m in love with this lipstick.

I’ve already prepared one, and it’s going out in the next few days!

Hi, your blog has inspired me to wear makeup! I’m new to makeup and want to start out simple and not spend too much money. I want to start off with the basics, but I don’t know how to pick out what is right for me! I’m Chinese with a monolid, straight downward eyelashes and dry skin one minute then oily the next! Please help! Thanks!

Well, you sound like you have combination skin (same as me), and typical East Asian features. If you are located in Asia, I would say you have plenty of options in the drugstores/pharmacies and I would go with Asian foundation brands like ZA, Majolica Majorca, KATE, etc. I can’t tell you which is best because skins act and react differently, so it’s best to try them out. If you don’t mind lighter coverage, I’d go with a BB Cream because it can handle combination skins quite well, but beware of very pale grey/pink ones. It should have similar undertones to your skin and blend in discreetly.

For eye makeup, I’d say get a gel liner (easiest to work with, and Maybelline has one of the best in the market, along with one of the best brushes as well), a lengthening waterproof mascara (waterproof holds curls better) and 1-2 eyeshadow quads.

Your basic eyeshadow quads can be a neutral color-scheme (look for a brown theme or a grey/charcoal theme) because these shades are very versatile and go with most outfits. AVOID ones that have 3-4 pale, pastel, glittery shades and almost no dark colors. (It looks good in the package, but it’s not flattering on most eyes.) When you have mono-lids, you need some shading and definition around the eyes, so make sure you get something that has 1-2 dark shades that aren’t too metallic or shiny.

For lips and cheeks, ANYTHING goes. Don’t restrict yourself. Start with 2 basic blushes (see my reply to a question on blushes yesterday) and some glosses until you’re ready to move on to lipsticks. I particularly like the Super Lustrous lipglosses from Revlon.

Which do you prefer, High End or Drugstore makeup?

I have no preference! I use both high-end and drugstore products. If I can find an equivalent product with comparable quality in the drugstore, I’d definitely go for the drugstore one because I can buy more of them with the same amount of money.

I definitely do also splurge on high-intensity or high-opacity products that I use for special occasions. For example, full-cover foundations and concealers can look mask-like and heavy if the company doesn’t get their technology and formula right, so I’ll invest in something from a brand like Make Up For Ever when I want coverage but invisible texture. Also, I’ll pay for intense color products like Lip Tars and Lime Crime lipsticks in odd colors, simply because many of the drugstore brands don’t offer these color ranges or haven’t gotten their formulas quite right yet. (It’s easier to get by with a soft beige-pink lipstick that has poor texture than a dark purple that goes on unevenly.)

The last thing is that in Asia, many drugstore products are only slightly cheaper than (or sometimes as expensive as) mid-range brands like MAC, so the line’s quite blur as far as cost goes.

Do you have any tips on makeup for this upcoming spring? Like natural look perhaps? Thank you! :)xx

I do have a look coming up that adds a touch of Spring-like color to a soft neutral eye, and it can be worn easily in the day, or for work or school. Stay posted!

In the meantime, here are some tags of previous posts that might help.

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