August 20 2014

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Write On: Shu Uemura Channels an Ancient Japanese Art



During my tenure as a beauty editor, I’ve seen many scrawl a quick flick on the outer corners of the eyes, and I have even attempted the technique on myself (armed with a bottle of makeup remover and pointy Q-tips to fix the amateur imperfections, of course). But I’ve never witnessed someone craft the perfect cat-eye quite like Kakuyasu Uchiide, international artistic director for Shu Uemura. Using the brand’s new liquid liner pen, Calligraph:ink—modeled after a traditional Japanese calligraphy brush—he sculpted a flawless wing. Uchiide studied the art as a child, and he took what he learned in the classroom and under the tutelage of the Mr. Shu Uemura and developed an ultra-precise tool and waterproof formula. “We obsessed over the selection of the [bristles], the length of the handle, the materials—everything,” he said. In addition to a pen, the collection also includes five shadows—ranging from basic beige to bright vermilion—that were inspired by the colors used to accent this ancient form of writing (done almost exclusively in black ink). To emphasize the eyes even further, the cosmetic label partnered with Paperself, the London-based company that specializes in crafting everything from merry-go-rounds to rose gardens in delicate paper lash form, to create two sets of falsies. The first pair boasts the phrase “Love Forever,” while the other features tiny cherubs floating across your fringe. After all, the language of love is a dialect everyone understands.

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