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Color Me In: Li Wen
by Dain

Diana (Li Wen)

Brown/black - coloured dark brown with tan/auburn highlights


Light/medium beige, with yellow and olive undertones

Dark brown

Dark circles under my eyes and acne-prone skin, which breaks out whenever I eat dairy products. I like to wear bold, bright lips so getting as flawless and immaculate a base as possible always is my main task. I also have unruly eyebrows - sparse, straight hairs that stick out in all directions - which require a combination of brow setter, pencil, and powder to tame. Unless I am at home, or spending hours on an airplane, I usually wear one-day contacts, so having eye makeup that does not run or smear is important to me.

Sophisticated, by turns fresh and bold

Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil - Acorn
Guerlain Eye Liner & Khol - Khol Me 03 (brown)
Red lipstick - cannot pick just one!

NARS Zen for a neutral with a hint of red, Cargo The Big Easy for a summery peach, and Becca Amaryllis for the perfect winter flush.

Asian brows are indeed tricky to tame. The black is emphatic and the hairs are pin straight, so an unruly hair refuses to behave, even with lashings of brow gel. Within minutes, it comes undone. One option might be to use a good hairspray, one with excellent hold, onto a toothbrush. A more frustrating, but ultimately more satisfying, alternative would be grow your brows in thicker. It'll get worse before it gets better, but resist the urge to pluck those messy, minute hairs for a few months until they've reached their full length. Then you can zero in—carefully! ever so carefully—on individual hairs so they lie more or less in the proper direction.

A peachy tone to your undereye concealer (Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, or professional brands like Ben Nye and Graftobian) will counteract sallowness. You can always layer a highlighting pen on top, if you need extra brightening.

Li Wen already owns a formidable collection of red lipsticks and well-edited neutrals (from her Livejournal, Fire of Spring). It's clear she's driven by a spirit of adventure, "I think there are areas that I have missed, colour blindspots that I would like to explore a bit more", as well as a fascination with a conceptual approach to makeup. In response, we've adjusted our recommendations accordingly, slightly more saturated twists on her reliable stable of neutrals.
We've chosen Becca Amaryllis (center) to center this palette. It's an easy, rosy flush that leans neither too warm nor too cool, and it's no secret how much we love the formula.

On the premise that flattering lipcolors should pick up on undertones in a well chosen blush, Lipstick Queen Saint Berry (top center) is a richer, slightly warmer color, a hybrid between brown and warm red known as clove, but not so far removed you cannot detect the relationship with Amaryllis. Sheered down so it doesn't become draining, it's soft and naturalistic without resorting to a nude. For excitement, it doesn't get much bolder than Shiseido OR418 Day Lily Perfect Rouge (top right), a heartstoppingly chic shade of vibrant orange. Day Lily takes the thread of warmth lurking in Saint Berry, isolates it from the neutralizing brown, then saturates it to high intensity. On Li Wen's olive+/yellow undertones, it illuminates her face entire*.

For eyes, we've chosen shades that should integrate beautifully together. For neutrals, a greyed khaki, Shiseido Kombu (far left), and a blackened plum, Laura Mercier Black Plum (bottom left). Though they seem more colorful, they'll wear as easily as Li Wen's favorite ashy browns, like off-browns. Her perfect contrast, aligned exactly opposite Amaryllis on the color wheel, would be a periwinkle. At full strength, Stila Mambo (bottom, second from right) would serve as a bright wash, but it'll contrast nicely against greens and play a more tonal game with darker purples and blues. Alternatively, we might recommend Chanel Bambou (not pictured), a very fresh spring green. Finally, we've included an accent color, to provide a touch of highlight against Black Plum, Kombu, and Mambo, Stila Cloud (bottom, far right). Li Wen notes she doesn't wear silver very comfortably, but Cloud is sufficiently softened by a hint of rosy taupe to take the bite out of the harsh metallic.

* N.B. Since we've been talking to Li Wen over an extended period of time, it's been possible to check various suggestions for their affinity to her coloring.

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8/09/2011 [2]

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