Maybelline’s latest appointment of Taiwanese beauty, I-Hua Wu as their newest global face represented a big shift towards increased diversity. The world of fashion and beauty has always been somewhat narrow in what’s deemed beautiful but it seems the tides are slowly but surely changing.
As someone with distinct East Asian features, I felt that lack of diversity way back when I was a teen experimenting with makeup.
I scoured makeup counters for a foundation that perfectly matched my skin tone to no avail. It was always a shade too dark or light and the undertones were always pink when what I really needed was something with a warm yellow undertone. Eyelash curlers also presented a problem because the vast majority weren’t developed with Asian eye shapes in mind.
Fast forward to today and we’re seeing the likes of Tanzanian model, Herieth Paul, and now Wu representing a brand that only ten years ago, may not have produced a foundation suitable for their ethnic skin tones.
Makeup has become so inclusive that brands have even developed lines geared specifically towards different ethnicities. Needless to say, hunting down makeup for my own unique features has never been so easy.
These are just a few of the tried and true products we recommend for those blessed with beautiful Asian features.
With 24 available shades, there’s really something suitable for anyone looking for a solid foundation. Over and over, Laura Mercier’s Candleglow Foundation continues to be mentioned as a favourite amongst Asian women likely due to the special attention paid to shades featuring yellow, olive and golden undertone.
$59. Available at Holt Renfrew.
What did I do before the Shu Umera Eyelash Curler? A heck of a lot of struggling and even more sighs of defeat.
My lashes are short and straight and the Shu Umera curler was able to get the lashes right at the inner corner of my eye and create a nice natural looking curl as opposed to an awkward horizontal bend like my first Revlon curler.
Another cult favourite for Asian women is the Shisheido eyelash curler
, which is highly recommended if you have smaller, almond shaped eyes.
$24. Available at Sephora.
A classic struggle for women with short straight lashes that point down is that most mascaras will weigh them down. Luckily, you’ve just stumbled upon the holy grail of mascaras for Asian lashes. This Japanese product is extremely lightweight and will generally do as promised: Curl and lengthen even the most stubborn stick straight and short lashes.
$25.47. Available at amazon.ca.
For reasons unbeknownst to me, Asian women (at least those I’ve spoken with) tend to have oily skin, which means makeup is prone to smearing and transferring. Keeping eye makeup in place is especially challenging, which is why eyelid primer should become your very best friend.
$2. Available at elfcosmetics.com.
Many Asian women struggle with applying eye makeup if they have monolids and hooded lids. It’s just a fact that any subtle eye makeup looks will end up disappearing once you open your eyes.
One solution is a dramatic cat eye or winged eyeliner look that can best be achieved with a waterproof liquid liner like this Korean import that dries quickly and refuses to smudge. When it comes to applying eye makeup to monolids, the trick is to keep your eyes open during application. I know, easier said than done but practice makes perfect.
$10.98. Available at Amazon.ca.
Asian women with black hair often question whether they should use a dark brown, black or grey pencil to fill in their eyebrows. The answer varies depending on the exact colour of your hair, skin tone and other facial features. Sometimes it’s just a matter of trial and error.
However, black is typically too harsh while grey and dark brown hues look the most natural. THEFACESHOP’s waterproof brow pencils are ideal for anyone who struggles with oily skin and the dark grey looks quite natural if your hair is black.
$10. Available at THEFACESHOP.
Based on my own experience, the generalization that Asian women tend to have oilier skin holds true. Although I’ve met a few Asian women who struggle with dry skin, which just goes to show that one size doesn’t fit all.
However, for the majority and myself, the greasy skin struggle is all too real. Translucent powder is a must for me and likely the reason people haven’t tried to fry an egg on my forehead on especially hot days.
$47. Available at Sephora.
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