Current Eye Routine

Ahh, yes, our eyes are the window into our soul. One of the things that makes my morning eye makeup routine a bit difficult is my lack of eyelashes. Unfortunately, Asians naturally have sparse, thin lashes that don’t curl and sometimes the lashes can’t curl. At the same time, many of us lack the Western double-lid crease – which makes eye shadow application difficult as well. I get asked all the time how to make Asian eyes appear to look brighter, bigger, and more attractive; and many Asians forego the mascara and lash drama all together because it’s not going to make a difference anyway. Eyes – no matter what your ethnic background is – are beautiful; and, my non-product-related advice is to accept your beautiful eyes just the way they are. Embrace your lack of eyelashes – but, do what you can to make the most of them.

Your Arsenal should always include an eyelash curler, even if your lashes are the typical-Asian lashes that can’t hold the curl. We’ll get to that part later. Curling your lashes, lifts them up allowing the eye to look more open. Because Asian lashes point downwards, I feel like sometimes it acts as a ‘curtain’ and shields the tops of the eyelid slightly – making them appear smaller.

After curling your lashes, use a waterroof mascara as a base and coat your lashes gently. At this point, it’s better to look into the mirror, with your head tilted up slightly while applying the mascara. When working with short lashes, the wand can hit the tops of your lid making little black dots appear. Waterproof mascara can be drying, but that’s kind of the whole point since it contains more wax than your average non-waterproof mascara. This allows the curl to hold a lot better since it was designed to withstand humidity and moisture. While that first layer is drying, move onto the rest of your routine (whatever that may be) while the mascara dries. I like to use the L’Oreal Voluminous False Lashes mascara.

Next, layer a volumizing mascara on top. Lately I’ve been using Benefit’s They’re Real mascara since it’s a thicker formula and is widely known to also hold a curl. At this stage, you may notice some slight clumping – but for us, Asians – it’s okay because the slight clumping can provide the illusion of visible lashes.

Another important step is highlight and contour the eyes so that they have some definition. Since Asian lids are quite flat, highlighting and contouring is essential to make the lids look less flat. I use MAC‘s shadestick in Butternutty to highlight the inner corner of my eyes (for a brightening effect); and I use Chanel‘s eyeshadow in Safari or MAC‘s mineralize eyeshadow in Twilight Falls to give my eyelids some depth and definition. In my opinion, sticking to a darker-taupe shade is key because it compliments the yellow/olive tones in Asian skin. It’s also less stark than black; and, less intense because many women resort to using a thick black line across the eye.

This may sound time-consuming, but really, after some practice – this “eye routine” takes about 5 minutes (if that). Using a good blending brush can also help fade contour/crease color out a bit, especially if you’re going for a more natural and subtle look. However, if you want to keep it really minimal, I highly suggest getting an eyelash curler and pairing it with a good, trusty waterproof mascara. Even if you skip everything else, your eye will look more open and wider just by getting your lashes up and out – and essentially, out of the way.

Another quickie post. Thanks for reading.
*Pictures taken on my Blackberry Bold.
*Click on images to enlarge.

Recommendation: Caudalie Vinoperfect

Recently, I switched over to a French brand – Caudalie – for my nightly skin care routine. I picked Caudalie after some thorough research, because I wanted a gentler product that would spot-correct and make my complexion more radiant and even-toned. Enter Caudalie’s radiance regimen: Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum + Caudalie Vinoperfect Cell Renewal Night Cream.

Caudalie’s History via Sephora:
“The Caudalie story began in 1993 when two college sweethearts, Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas, took a summer job at her family winery in Bordeaux and met Dr. Vercauteren, the world’s leading expert on grapevine polyphenols. The professor revealed the extraordinary antioxidant powers of the vine, inspiring the couple to create the world’s leading vinotherapy skincare line. Caudalie is the first beauty company to use (and patent) stabilized grape seed polyphenols in skincare and steers clear of parabens, phenoxyethanol, mineral oils, and artificial colorings to protect your skin and the environment. Balancing science and nature with a touch of luxury, Caudalie is always on the cutting edge of antioxidant technology. Uncork the formulas and let your skin drink up the benefits.”

The Vinoperfect Radiance Serum is “a highly concentrated oil-free serum that improves the appearance of dark spots, promotes even skintone, and boosts radiance.” It is formulated to “banish dark spots and achieve your most even, bright, and beautiful complexion. Perfect for all skin types, this satiny complex offers remarkable results, helping to correct dark spots, acne marks, and scars. Naturally powerful Viniferine, olive squalene, mint, caraway, and galbanum work to counter stretch marks, scars, and damage while bolstering collagen and elastin, for glowing results.”

Caudalie’s official website states that this “satiny serum is a remarkable formula for smoother, brighter-looking skin. Patented Viniferine, 62 times more effective than Vitamin C boosts the complexion’s radiance and appearance. Your skin is moisturized and luminous. Your complexion looks even and beautifully radiant with dark spots diminished.” This product is “for those who wish to regain a bright, radiant, and even complexion. [It] eliminate[s] existing dark spots and prevents the appearance of new ones.”

Applying serum before the cream is important because serums are designed to penetrate deeper into the skin; creams, on the other hand, can sit on top of the skin before absorption. Including a serum into your nightly skin care routine can boost effects since serums contain higher concentrations “ingredients” that are delivered deeper into the skin. Doing so – in my opinion – allows your combined products to be more effective – thus providing results that you’re looking for faster.

Paired with the serum, I apply the cell renewal night cream every night. “This exfoliating cream works overnight for a renewed baby-skin effect, leaves your complexion glowing and unified, smoothes lines and reduces pores. It delivers gradual and continuous exfoliation for a new-skin effect that ensures unique high tolerance. Dark spots and imperfections are visibly diminished, the skin texture is refined and pores are tightened. In the morning, your skin breathes freely. It is detoxified, moisturized, smoother with a more even, incredibly luminous complexion.”

The cream is thick and a little goes a long way. I find that it’s difficult to blend in because it does take some work to get the white cast from the product to dissipate. However, despite its thick consistency, once the cream is blended in my skin is smooth and soft. Even with a layer of serum plus the cream, my skin is not left sticky; I’m confident that both products have been absorbed into the skin.

Caudalie products are formulated WITHOUT:
– Parabens
– Sulfates
– Synthetic Dyes
– Petrochemicals
– Phthalates
– GMOs
– Triclosan

What else you need to know:
This non-comedogenic, non-photosensitizing product does not contain animal products and is not tested on animals. Caudalie is committed to using and producing products that are environmentally friendly.

My thoughts/recommendation:
I’ve been using Caudalie for a few months now, and I’m happy to say that my skin has made a successful transition from summer to fall to winter because of these two products. The smell is lightly sweet but doesn’t linger to give you a headache. After makeup removal and proper skin cleansing, I slather on the serum generously all over my face and wait a few moments for it to sink into the skin. The skin absorbs the product beautifully and doesn’t leave a sticky gooey feeling, like many other serums on the market. Then, I apply the night cream on top of the serum; the cream is slightly on the thick side – so, a little goes a long way. I rub the cream into the skin and, it too, is absorbed into the skin easily. Within minutes my skin feels refreshed and moisturized. I can go to sleep without my skin sticking to my pillow and rubbing off everywhere.

The final verdict:
If your goal is to achieve a more even-toned complexion, then I highly recommend this line. The natural ingredients in here, I believe, work just as well as chemical-based products. Because the main ingredient is more potent than the traditional Vitamin C, the results are equal or greater depending on the length of use. Before starting on this particular routine, I had just finished a mini acne-battle with my skin and was left with some reddish post-hyperpigmentation spots. My skin had gotten sensitive to the weather changes around here and I was having some major redness issues; also, it appeared my skin was quite unbalanced – more than usual.

It is important to know that these anti-spot products are not meant for a “quick fix.” If you want intense and immediate results, a laser procedure is your best bet – even though it is very costly. With topical products, you must remain patient and use the products diligently as instructed for weeks (and sometimes months) before seeing full results. Within a week, my skin seemed happier and less temperamental; within 2 weeks, the redness had subsided immensely; within a month and a half, many of the spots had faded but were still visible; and, at the end of the 4th month, I could get away with not using concealer for additional coverage (though a light coating of foundation was still required). Now, at the end of December, I’m quite happy with the condition of my skin. Though there’s hints of faint spots here and there, the overall skin tone has evened out greatly and the texture is much more smoother – thus, creating the “radiant” look the products claim. The remaining stubborn spots are really, really faint; and, I’m happy to say that NO new spots have emerged.

* Images and quoted content were extracted from and