NEW YORK - An Asian womans eyes are both her best asset and her biggest challenge when it comes to putting on her makeup.
There are wonderful colors and great tools out there to highlight the exotic beauty of Asians eyes, says Los Angeles makeup artist Margaret Kimura, but there is a shortage of information on how to properly apply the cosmetics to their unique almond shape.
Asian women have a different canvas, explains Kimura, herself a Japanese-American.
If we look at ourselves as women first - beauty does start from within - and then look at our unique qualities next, well see how to play up our exotic looks.
Kimura provides that step-by-step tutorial in her new book Asian Beauty (HarperResource), written with Marianne Dougherty. Chapter topics include skin care, foundation, eyes, lips and role models.
She hopes her book will inspire Asian-American women to try new looks.
American women are taught to be independent. In an Asian house, the women are taught its OK to be shy and submissive, so they (Asian-American women) are getting a mixed message about expressing themselves.
Kimura says shed also like to teach non-Asian women something about their Asian peers and neighbors - and share a few good makeup tips in the process.
In the book, Kimura explains that opening up the eyes is key but she also doesnt want to diminish the exoticness of the shape.
One trick: Using a lighter shade of eye liner under the lower lashes and a heavier shade to line the lid helps create more depth so the eyes appear to be more open.
The use of eyeliner in general plays up the mystery of Asian eyes, adds Kimura, whose celebrity clients (Asian and non) have included Lisa Ling, Andie McDowell and Wynona Ryder.
Its important for anyone who wears makeup to know her best colors but its particularly important for Asian women to avoid pinkish foundations because of their almost universal yellow undertone, she advises.
Another tip - and this one is for everyone - is that foundation shouldnt be caked on. Kimura, however, does like to use either a light coat of foundation or powder on all her clients because it allows her a fresh start on the face.
The one rule Kimura wont budge on is using the right tools.
Good tools to a makeup artists are like a drummers drumsticks.
She says everyone should have a lip brush, powder brush, blush brush and a couple of eye brushes with different angles in their cosmetic cases.