Thanks to our readers for submitting your makeup questions! Motoko loves answering your questions and is just as dedicated to your answers as she is to her makeup applications. Enjoy the answers to your latest questions.
Dear Motoko, I know you are supposed to exfoliate your skin before you apply any make-up. But you can’t get rid of all the skin flakes (usually around the sides of the nose). What can you do as last minute measures? Put more moisturizer on it? but it doesn’t seem to work on me… Appreciate your help indeed!
Motoko: First, flaky skin is usually a sign of dry skin, but over-exfoliation is not necessarily the solution to the problem. Excessive exfoliation will decrease your skin’s natural oils, called sebum. You don’t need to exfoliate your skin each time before application of make-up. Second, there are no true ‘last minute measures’. The best answer is to have good basic skincare on your face daily.
1. Wash your skin both in the morning to refresh your skin, and at night to get rid of dirt, make-up, etc.
2. Tone and moisturize your skin according to your skin type.
3. Exfoliate 1-3 times a week (depending on skin’s condition) to get rid of dead surface cells, extra debris and to smooth and soften your skin in order to produce the right amount of sebum.
This will help the skin to absorb supplements efficiently. If you want, you can also steam your skin with hot towel to soften it.
Also, massaging your skin can also help loosen the surface layer and to help clear dirt/whiteheads/dead cells away. Massage the sides of nose with an up and down motion with middle finger pressing on the skin.
Doing this, you may decrease or eliminate the flaky skin. Also, avoid OVER-moisturizing. Heavy creams or oil products can interfere with the natural production of sebum and can make your skin harden. These products do not penetrate your skin well, which can lead to a hard and dry outer layer of skin.
If I had to recommend a ‘last minute measures’, moisten the skin and use a wet hand towel or a Korean body scrub towel and scrub the flaky part of your skin gently. If you have to cover it up, then apply the mix of foundation or concealer and a moisturizer. Also, you can pick up flaky skin by a tweezer gently.
However, these are just temporary solutions. Please remember that your flaky skin may come from dehydration, excessive sun exposure without sunscreen lotion, the use of harsh soaps, drying cosmetics, medication and environmental reasons. Most importantly, use the right products for your skin type. Don’t over-dry or over hydrate.
You may ask an esthetician or dermatologist for your extended professional suggestions.
Gong Li looks beautiful, as usual.
Dear Motoko, I’m Iris, a college student from California. I would like to know how to recreate Gong Li’s makeup in her movie The Emperor and the Assassin. It was light and porcelain, i think, but I have no clue what techniques and colors to choose. I adore her and I think this is her most beautiful I’ve seen her in movies. I would really appreciate it if you could help me.
Motoko: In the movie “THE EMPEROR AND THE ASSASSIN”, Gong Li looks beautiful, as usual. Keep in mind when you’re selecting shades, that her look in the film is very matte.
Here’s how to get her look from the movie:
To create a nice smooth, flawless fair skin, try to use a sheer foundation (like Stila, Prescriptives, Yves Saint Laurent, Estee Lauder). My tip for flawless foundation: PAT it on! This may see time-consuming, but your fingertips are the best application tool for foundation. Just dab some foundation on your fingers and then keep patting it gently on your skin, until it blends in seamlessly. Use concealer on any areas that need more coverage. Then set the face using a translucent loose powder. The powder will keep the foundation looking fresh and flawless.
Draw a defined brow by applying a dark charcoal or black powder with an angled brush.
Lightly apply a light brown shadow on the eyelid and blend well, making it a little darker as you get closer to the crease. The eyeliner is the key! Use a black liquid (like the Shu Uemera Liquid Eye Liner) or a cream eyeliner (MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack). Sweep along the upper lashes and extend it into a slight wing tip on the edges. Line the lower lash lines too and then blend a very thin line of dark brown shadow to soften the line. Lastly, apply black mascara.
Apply a light peachy color on the center of the cheeks. Because Asians tend to have a golden undertone, a peach shade on the cheeks creates a fresh, clean look.
Use a matte apricot beige color (a nude color with a coral undertone like Chanel Coral Beach, a blend of Estee Lauder Crystal Coral & NARS Blond Venus, or Dior Addict 484) After applying the lipstick, blot with a tissue.
Dear Motoko, I have a somewhat round face and I want to know how to apply blush for the facial shape that I have. Thank you!!!
Motoko: Here’s my tip to create the illusion of a slender face. When you look in the mirror and your suck in your cheeks (put on your model face!) and you can see where to subtly contour your face! Apply the cheek color from the side of temple and whisp the brush up and down toward the side of the nose. This is the area under the high cheek bone, which is V shaped. To give a nice natural contour, I recommend choosing a foundation that’s 1-2 shades darker than your skin tone. Dab a few dots near your hairline and blend down towards your jaw.
To give an added pop, you can dust a rosy color on the apples of your cheeks (when you smile, you will see where this is). You will look very cute!
Who are you working on for the Golden Globes this year! Are you allowed to disclose?
Motoko: I actually worked on Masi Oka for the Golden Globes. He is an absolute sweetheart and such an amazing talent, actually very intelligent! Did you know he’s a math prodigy?!
Any Spring ’07 makeup trends that you can give us an idea?
Motoko: I think Spring will bring back a surge of pretty pastel colors, with a more natural matte finish. As for the lips, I see sheen, but not necessarily a glossy finish. More like a satin finish.
How do I achieve a dewy look?
Dear Motoko, I have always admired your make-up prowess and being an Asian myself ( Filipina), I am so proud of your achievements. May I ask your tips on how to achieve that dewy look? Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi look dewy but not greasy and i just love it …. thanks .. more power, Gina?
Motoko: There are a couple of ways to get a dewy look.
First, it’s important to use moisturizer before applying makeup in order to prep and hydrate the skin. I recommend using a tinted moisturizer, or a foundation with lighter coverage. This allows your skin to naturally shine through. Make the skin dewy! For a dewy look, NEVER use powder to set the foundation – ”it will only create a matte finish.
The second way is to create the illusion of dewy by using a shimmery face powder or liquid. If you’re using a liquid-based shimmer product, you can mix a small drop with your foundation to give your entire face a subtle sheen. Or, you can choose to highlight certain areas of the face like the apples of the cheeks, the bridge of your nose and chin.
Here are some of my favorite highlighting products:
Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheers: Great to mix in with foundation for the all-over face glow. OR just use to highlight.
Chanel Sheer Brilliance
For a powder: try the Trish McEvoy, Bronze Highlighter
L’Oreal HIP High Intensity Pigments Illuminating Highlighter, Shimmer 894
Leave your makeup questions for Motoko below and she’ll gladly answer each and every one. (leave by the 15th of each month to be featured in the next issue)