Saturday, April 30, 2011

Natural looking make up

With the summer coming just around the corner, I thought it would be good to do a post about make up that accounts for the heat and doesn't cake up or oil up. A look that is really popular in Japan and Korea is the natural look. The goal of this look is to look flawless but not overly made up. Two actresses who are known to rock this look are:

Erica TodaHorikita Maki

Erika Toda and Horikita Maki

These looks have a few key features:

  • Concealer with great coverage
  • Very thin foundation -> it looks like their skin, not a mask
  • Curled lashes
  • Nude lipstick (gloss optional)

Not being a make-up guru myself, I rely on vloggers such as xteeener, Michelle Phan, Catalina and Bubz. All have a tutorial on how to achieve this natural, healthy look but out of all of them, I have to say that my favourite has to be Bubz, which is embedded below.

After watching this, a lot of you may be thinking "Gosh that's a lot of highlighter!" And I honestly think it depends on what you're using. For bubs, the highlighter spreads really nicely and is absorbed to the skin so it is like putting on lotion with a bit of tint. For those of us who may not be willing to spend that much money for a Yves Laurent Radiant Touch, I recommend using a slightly lighter concealer and applying it with a small brush. As I am against buying more products than I need, I am currently using Benefit Erase Paste in No. 2 and applying it sparingly using a small angled brush. When that runs out, then I will consider buying a real highlighter.

The next concern is that a lot of the products used by Bubz is exclusively in Asia. If you are hesitant about buying make up online, this may cause some issues. I think in terms of concealer and translucent powder, you can definitely go for North American brands (assuming you are living in North America of course, if you live in Asia, laugh at my misfortune and go buy the products in the video). The key thing that you really need is the BB Cream. This is the key factor in keeping your skin looking like your own. Sephora has just started selling Dr Jart's BB Creams. Though many have stated it to be a bit on the pale side. If you are like me and have a bit of a darker complexion, you will need to find a BB cream that has a few more shades. Living in the highly asian-populated city of Vancouver, I have been fortunate enough to find a store that sells Korean Cosmetics (they are the leader in BB Creams). Many who live in Toronto, New York, or San Francisco should also have no issues finding an Asian store. I wish you luck on your BB Cream journey!

What I would use to achieve this look (some from the video, some from my own personal likes):

  • Concealer: Maybelline Pure Mineral Concealer
  • Face: Missha BB Cream in No. 31
  • Highlighter: Yves Laurent Radiant Touch
  • Powder: NYC Pressed Translucent Powder
  • Eye brows: Annabelle Eyebrow Pencil in Medium Brown
  • Eye Liner: Lancome Le Crayon Kohl in Black Coffee
  • Eye lashes: Mary Kay Lash Lengthening Mascara in Black Brown
  • Cheeks: MAC powder blush in Fleur Power
  • Lips: MAC Creme Sheen Lipstick in Shy Girl

What do you do to achieve the natural look?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Durarara! Where's your head at?

With my second semester of graduate school done (at officially 8am today). I am free to get back to what I love and that is blogging about my Otaku sensibilities. <3

Durarara started off as a Light Novel in April 2004. It was then adapted into a manga in 2009 and an anime in 2010. This post focuses on the anime since that is what I have been exposed to.


A still of by far my favourite scene in the series

What has gotten me thinking is the origins of memory and how it connects the brain to the heart. These thoughts were inspired by the character of Celty Sturluson, a headless rider from Ireland. She is in Japan in search of her missing head. She senses it to be in Ikebukuro and has been living there for 20 years as a transporter. Because of her disconnection from her head, she can't remember events prior to having her head stolen. She believes that obtaining her head will give her a greater sense of who she is.

Celty Sturluson

Celty and Shinra, another character in the series.

Having taken a class on Cognition and Perception, I have been fortunate enough to read introductory psychology on how memory works. Basically, the brain takes information from the senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing) and interprets it based on similar experiences that has happened in the past. If it a completely new sensation, the brain still tries to tie it to the closest similar past experience as a means of trying to understand it. It is like when people eat frog and claim it as tasting like chicken.

Since Celty is a supernatural being, we are allowed to ignore how she perceives the world without the use of a brain. We are even allowed to ignore how she stores information of events from the past 20 years. Despite this, I keep thinking about what about a headless body makes someone soulful and human. And the obvious answer at first is the heart. But upon coming up with this conclusion I come to wonder, How does the heart exactly tie to emotional connotations? Its literal function is to pump blood throughout the various organ systems. Why does it hurt when we're sad or feel light upon happiness? Is this simply a trick achieved by the brain because this is how we are expected to feel? I leave this thought to you, the reader, in hopes that you come up with the answers I could not. :)

In terms of the anime itself, I highly recommend it. The character development is excellent. The plot line isn't painfully linear. The art itself isn't too stylized but sophisticated. As show above, it also makes you think.

Rating: 4.5/5 -> simply because I am not done the series