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Makeup. Fragrance. Nails. Skincare Today is Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Hi hi hi!

So on Saturday, I was fortunate enough to attend a COSME DECORTE AQ (CD AQ) MAKEUP WORKSHOP conducted by the affable CLARENCE LEE, with Sophia (The Makeup Blogette), Iris (Rougedeluxe) and Mag (Makeupstash).  CD AQ is a premium skincare and makeup line just by looking at product catalogues, one can tell how elegant and luxurioous the product packaging is and how technologically advanced the product formulations are. 


My own experience with Japanese makeup is somewhat limited and restricted only to point makeup (how will I ever be able to experience the joy that is Japanese foundations? *sigh* LOL!) and my stash is limited to a couple of eyeshadows from Shu Uemura, cream eyeshadows from Beaute de Kose, Shiseido and Kate, opaque lipglosses from Beaute de Kose and mascaras from Majolica Majorca and Fairy Drops. So I was all pumped up for this!



The workshop was really useful - Clarence pointed out many tips and pointers that I thought can be rather easily incorporated into our daily skincare and makeup routines (all of Clarence's tips are highlighted in pink for easy reference). 


The first and most basic pointer that Clarence mentioned was rather than being concerned that makeup is what clogs our skin causing breakouts, its the removal of makeup and thorough cleansing that keeps skin healthy and beautiful.  I am personally religious about double cleansing my skin after wearing makeup but Clarence pointed something else out: EVEN IF YOU GO WITHOUT WEARING MAKEUP, IT IS STILL IMPORTANT TO THOROUGHLY DOUBLE CLEANSE YOUR SKIN GIVEN THAT OUR SKIN IS EXPOSED TO POLLUTANTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT. On the days when I'm just at home without MU, I usually only use a cleanser in the shower but I'm going to try double-cleansing now and see if breakouts and bumps diminish.




The BASE MAKEUP in the CD AQ line has been formulated with a LIGHT SCULPTURE POWDER which reflects light more strongly than standard powders, resulting in a 3D effect on the complexion.  However, this 3D effect is not harsh and acute but softly and delicately curved along the planes of the face, resulting in a complexion that is translucent, radiant and glowing.  A lot of the base makeup also contains the same key skincare ingredients which have moisturising benefits for supple and radiant skin - some of the ingredients include WHITE BIRCH WATER, RICE BRAN EXTRACT, VITAMIN B6, WHITE LILY EXTRACT and ROSE HIP OIL.  



The MAKEUP BASE comes in 2 shades - Lilac (01) and Green (02). The swatch on my inner wrist is that of 01 - I noticed that initially, when I'm blending it out, my skin looks a little ashy but once completely blended out, I couldn't detect any ashiness.  The Makeup Base felt very smooth and almost velvety on my skin and there was a very faint floral scent, which soon disappeared. 


Clarence applied the MAKEUP BASE on the model in very gentle dabbing motions - honestly, I was ashamed of myself since I am way more rough in applying my skincare and foundation even! As you can see, Clarence squeezed out a pearl-sized amount of the Makeup Base onto his palm and worked the Makeup Base section by section on the model's face.  I also think that letting the Makeup Base sit on the palm while you gently blend it on skin allows the product to get gently warmed up by the heat from our palm which aids in better blending?




There are 7 shades to choose from for the CREAM FOUNDATION SUPREME SPF20 PA++, in 3 general shade families CREAM, OCHRE and PINK.  Unfortunately, none of the foundation shades suited my skintone *cries* but that didn't stop me from swatching it - it felt luxuriously smooth and almost had this soft, "whipped" consistency.  The Cream Foundation contains the LIGHT SCULPTURE POWDER and claims to stay fresh-looking for long hours. 


When Clarence was applying the foundation on the model, he approached it pretty much the same way as he applied the MAKEUP BASE - section by section and blending it in gently.  Clarence also pointed out the importance of applying foundation in a downward motion, so as to prevent foundation from being trapped in our pores or emphasising the minute facial hairs on our faces





Next Clarence applied the MODELLING NUANCER - a creme for contouring (BROWN) and highlighting (WHITE).  I've always thought that the only way to locate the cheekbones on the planes of the face was to suck in my cheeks (and make a goldfish lip expression?). Clarence pointed out that one can align the thumbs along the side of the cheeks to locate the cheekbones (as he is showing in the shot above on the model) and apply the contour under the cheekbones and blended out towards the jawline to help create the illusion of a smaller face.  Unfortunately, on my skintone, the BROWN MODELLING NUANCER looked a little dull and ashy, given that its a rather cool-toned, ashy brown.  However, it applies and blends very easily and does not drag on the skin. 


Clarence recommended that using the WHITE highlighting MODELLING NUANCER on specific areas of the face, like the outer corners of the eyes, the corners of the mouth, the bridge of the nose, can immediately help brighten one's complexion and give it an uplifted appearance


He also quipped that attempting to brighten up the eye area with a gentle highlighter is a much better idea than trying to use a concealer that's a couple of shades lighter - that will just result in an ashy, reverse Panda-bear eye look!




(Thanks to Iris for helping take shots of the face powder!)


The FACE POWDER N, which comes in 1 shade, 001 - is SWOONDERFUL!!! It is very very finely milled and when applied on the skin, its soooo smooth and settles on the complexion so well, its AMAZING. 


I tried this on my face, just like Clarence recommended, with a soft powder puff and wowza! Ok, I'll confess that when I saw the powder, I was like "WHY IS IT PINKY-LILAC?!! WHY DIDN'T THEY MANUFACTURE A YELLOWY ONE SO I CAN USE IT TOO?!!". 

Then I watched in envy as everyone else started using it and I saw how beautifully smooth it set the foundation and so I decided to give it a shot.  So the lesson learnt I from this? Don't assume and try anything once cos you never really can tell for sure how its really going to look like on you!  *so I now eat humble pie for kicking-up a mental fuss* 

According to CD AQ, the FACE POWDER N will not result in a cakey look, despite heavy layering and it is supposed to help with creating an even, translucent and radiant complexion.  I really like this one :D .... did I mention it has a nice scent? Sort of a cross between baby powder and a light floral scent to me ... :D






CD AQ Point Makeup (Eyes, Lips and Cheeks) all contain GOLD COLLOID POWDER, which has not been used in makeup before.  Solid gold is dissolved into a liquid, AQUA REGIA, whihc is an ultra-fine particle at the nano-level below 5000th of a millimetre of gold (i.e super super fine and delicate).  This is then dispersed into water and sprayed onto a "pearly sheen agent" resulting in a golden, gilded appearance, nuanced with an aura of purple.  Instead of glitter (which can be chunky), products containing the GOLD COLLOID have a deep but delicate sparkle.




There are a total of 9 different eyeshadow quads to choose from the SHADOW SUPREME range - both in cool and warm shades.  As you can see from the more close-up shots of the eyeshadow quads, the eyeshadows are a little soft and delicate but are relatively well-pigmented.  In each palette, you will notice that there are a small variety of finishes - a high-shimmery, glimmering shade, a satin-finish shade and a rich pearlised shade.  I had a chance to apply these shadows on my eyes and I realised that they blend very easily given how smooth and soft they are.  I think they will look particularly pretty over a good base which will bring out the colours even more.


For the demonstration, Clarence did a green smokey look on the model using palette 27 and a deeper green shade (likely from palette 22).  He first applied the brighter green (from 27) on the eyelids with his finger and blended it out and then used a sponge-tip applicator to create the cat-eye shape (he quipped that he would be cheating if he used his brushes! LOL!).   


One tip he shared was to make sure that if you line you lower lash line area with shadow or liner, try to join it to the upper lash line (at the outer corners) which emphasises a wide-eyed look - I think this results in a wide-eyed look since you essentially create a 'frame' for the entire eye, allowing it to be prominent.  I personally find it difficult to use an eyeliner in that technique since there is a bit of a gap between my lower and upper lashlines at the outercorners of my eye but I've never really tried lining my lower lashline (underneath the lashes and not the waterline) with eyeshadow - I shall try and see how that works.  I also found it immensely difficult to apply eyeshadow with the sponge-tip applicator - I kept dropping it *klutz* unlike Clarence who wielded it with such grace *shamefaced*




Unfortunately, I didn't manage to take a close-up shot of the MASCARA EXCELLENT so a picture from the catalogue will have to do.  Ok, another rave here - the mascara is really EXCELLENT! I am a mascara person - I've tried many many mascaras and my all-time favourites would have to be HELENA RUBENSTEIN LASH QUEEN FELINE BLACKS, YSL SINGULIER, MAC STUDIO FIX LASH and ZOOM LASH mascara - these have great formulas and the bristles of the mascara wand are able to coat each lash with minimal clumping. 


What makes the CD AQ mascara so excellent? It is UBER GLOSSY BLACK and while I had removed my eyeshadow and eyeliner to try out the CD eyeshadows, I was unable to remove my mascara (I was wearing 2 coats of MAC STUDIO FIX LASH).  Despite that, I was able to apply CD AQ's mascara on my lashes, without it tugging and clumping everywhere.  The bristles of the mascara wand was separated enough that I could manipulate the wand through my already-mascaraed lashes.  Iris quipped that my lashes looked "humongous" - an humourous exaggeration surely, but I really liked the deep black and volumising effect of the CD AQ Mascara Excellent.  Excellently aptly named!!!


One tip Clarence shared when he was applying mascara on the model's lashes was that we need not be afraid of curling our lashes "fantastically" (i.e. very curled) - mascara will usually weigh the lashes down so a higher, stronger curl will help to maintain the curled shape. And oh, to always curl lashes BEFORE applying mascara!




Another luxuriously formulated product, the ROUGE SUPREME, is available in 15 shades.  The lipstick contains MOISTURE LIFT OIL which provides a glowy, long-lasting moisture, while the "MELTY FEEL FORMULA" ensures a plumped-up effect.  Apart from the GOLD COLLOID POWDER, the lipsticks in this range also contain a "CONCEALING POWDER" which conceals longitude wrinkles and shadows on the lips.




Lastly, Clarence finished off the model's makeup with FACE COLOUR N (blush), which is available in 4 shades of bright orange, brown, red and pink (as seen in the pic above). Clarence pointed out something that never occured to me before - he mentioned that we need not be restricted by only cool blushes or only warm blushes.  One can wear a mixture of peachy blush on the cheeks with a pop of pink blush blended on the tops of the apples of our cheeks


Alternatively, one can soften the girly-look created by a strong pink blush, simply by blending in a little tawny-brown blush in


Also another tip Clarence shared was that we need not restrict blush to the apples of the cheeks only - one can blend the blush upwards towards the temples or the hairline for a more contoured appearance (which I can now try with my new Sigma F25 and F35!!! Whee!)


Here is the eyelook I tried:

Eyeshadow: Palette 27 and 26 (used dry, without base; applied with fingertips and sponge-tip applicator)


Eyeliner (upper lashline): Liquid Eyeliner N (black) (which was a little difficult to apply given how I'm not used to the thin liquid liner brushes)

(And I cheated for the lower-lashline - I've got MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in BLACK LINE on :P)


Face: Face Powder N (I blotted and tissued my face a little and then applied the Face Powder N with a powder puff) 




And finally, here are some FACE CHARTS we were given, for inspiration and ideas :)


Thanks again to Debbie for giving me the opportunity to explore the luxurious beauty that is Cosme Decorte AQ .. and thanks to Iris, Mag and Sophia for the wonderful company!


Hope you found some of the tips useful! Thanks for stopping by and have a great week ahead :)



DISCLAIMER: I am neither affiliated to KOSE or COSME DECORTE AQ.  All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by anyone. 

posted by

wow, thanks for this detailed report on the workshop! Great tips from Clarence, wish I have the chance to attend such makeup workshops! :)

posted by

Christie: Aww, you're more than welcome! Glad to share! Yeah, I was very lucky to have been able to attend :D

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