Rod Stafford Hagwood KNIGHT RIDDER NEWS SERVICE
Asian American women traditionally have had to rely on beauty guides that
enhance the features of white women.
Yet makeup artist Margaret Kimura says all women can learn some valuable
lessons from women of Asian descent.
"I didn't have any role models from a visual standpoint, other than my
or my older sister," Kimura says. "So to me, role models were more about
character. Audrey Hepburn has always been a role model. So has Oprah
"To me, it was about who really shows a great deal of character and inner
beauty. That makes them exude outer beauty."
So while her book, Asian Beauty (HarperResource), written with Marianne
Dougherty, gives tips and advice that enhance the beauty of Asian women,
is adamant that the book works for all women.
"We Asians have a lot of yellow in our skin," says Kimura, who has worked
with diverse clients such as Winona Ryder, Ray Charles and Arnold
Schwarz-enegger. "That is the main connection between all Asians. But I
found that a Caucasian woman living in a Japanese village and eating the
Japanese diet is going to have the same problems as a Japanese woman. And
same is true with an Asian woman living here, and eating McDonald's, and
"Our needs are based on diet, climate, and things like stress levels.
all relative, really. I just want to break the stereotype that all Asian
look like Suzie Wong. I wrote this book from a consumer standpoint because
the fact that there was not one place where I could buy everything or have
person help me."
Kimura proposes a "shadows and light" technique to use colors for
effects that will also translate from office to evening for women of every
She also encourages Asian women to not be shy with color because their
tones can pull it off better than most other women can.
Kimura includes a useful breakdown of the uses of various brushes and
Here are a few tips that address common Asian features:
Lips Asian women have full, balanced lips, so enhance them with color.
Eyes. Use a tapered contour crease brush for shadow that will help create
depth and size.
Lashes. Asian women usually have stubborn, straight lashes, so use a blow
dryer to heat the lash curler before trying to shape them.
Cheekbones. Create definition in a rounder face by applying highlight to
"apple" portion of the cheek and shadow below it.