Friday, January 28, 2011

Asian Eyes

You know how my youngest daughter is adopted from China?


Yeah, sometimes I forget. Mostly she's just my daughter. Just L. A blur of energy and enthusiasm. A girly-girl who gravitates toward anything colorful and sparkly. But every once in awhile, I'll catch a glimpse of her and think, "Dang! That girl looks Chinese today!"

Which is funny.

Because she *is* Chinese.

I just usually forget to notice.

Today I noticed. Lots. Today was her first dress rehearsal for her first dance show for her first time on the competition team. And those competition girls are serious about the whole dance thing and how you look on stage thing. The costumes are more complicated, there are very specific rules about the hairstyle, and the make-up. Oh. my. word. THE MAKE-UP.

When we got the list of things to have in the dance bag, I knew we were in trouble. She needed foundation and powder in a shade to match their skin tone. Well, that would be dark. But not too dark, but maybe darker than that one, but that other one seems way too dark, but her skin is dark, but she's too little for that dark color. The color I eventually got went on a bit pink and a bit too light for her skin tone, but it works well for the stage.

So we move on to the eyes and my confusion gets worse. 3 colors of eye shadow - one over the whole lid (check), one under the brow (check), and one in the crease (wait, she has no crease). We faked it and moved on to the black eyeliner. It's supposed to go right under the bottom lashes. Well, it turns out that asian eyes sit way back in there and you can't *get* to the lashes and there's a large "shelf" under the outer part of her eye. The construction of the eye and the fact that she's *6* made it very difficult to draw a line anywhere near her eye. It turned out really heavy and dramatic until I cleared away some of it with a q-tip.

BUT THEN came the fake eyelashes. (I told you those girls are serious about stage appearance.) I have never had occasion to use fake eyelashes before and all us new moms were kinda freaking out about it. False eyelashes? On our babies?!? But you know, they were a cinch. I think the flat eyelid made it that part a bit easier. It was harder to get enough cooperation to put on the mascara. Not that she didn't *want* to look fancy, she was just a bit scared of the wand and kept backing away.

But we finished even to a bright shade of pink lipstick and she looked fabulous. She's amazingly beautiful and the make-up just accented everything. We made it through tonight's dress rehearsal and tomorrow morning, we'll get up and do it all again. And maybe I'll remember to bring my camera and take pictures so you can see L and her beautiful asian eyes.

1 comment:

Jen said...

I love this post! I used to be a makeup artist part time and always struggled with makeup for different ethnicities. (I eventually became quite skilled and had a list of tricks for each, but I still have my challenges.) I remember the first time I had a very dark skinned woman sit down in my chair. Naturally, I reached for the darkest foundation I could find. My silly mind was certain the darker the better. I tested out a small patch and realized just how wrong I was. I learned my lesson that day and fortunately had a client who was very understanding. Honestly, being a blonde fair skinned girl with limited makeup training did nothing to prepare me for this experience. It actually is disappointing to see how little training is geared towards anyone other than the white, young, clear complexion female.
You may be interested in the following books by Kevin Aucoin:
Face Forward & Making Faces. I don't have them at hand, but I recall that one of them covered more theatrical type makeup.
BTW, your daughters are adorable... :)