SINGAPORE — It should be said that a huge part of Kakuyasu Uchiide’s 26-year career as a professional makeup artist at Japanese cosmetic giant company, shu uemura, is a product of humility and perseverance. “It took me six months to convince Mr Uemura to let me join the company and I started in sales first, learning the salon business. It was only after 10 years at Shu Uemura, when I asked Mr Uemura again if i could become a make-up artist, that he finally said yes.”
The shy 48-year-old is a university graduate who majored in business management and law. “I didn’t have a clear vision for the future,” he grinned sheepishly. “At that time, I wasn’t positive about a job as a make-up artist, because it looked really boring. It was only after Mr Uemura gave a speech about his experiences as a make-up artist that I realised it sounded like my ideal job. I had no objective, but I knew that if I could, I would be a make-up artist like Mr Uemura.”
Uchiide-San’s latest collection is widely considered his best to date, living up to its name Vision of Beauty. Fiercely flamboyant and dramatically alluring, the false eyelashes are the highlight of the collection — emblazoned with tribal motifs, rock-chic inspired feathers with silver slivers, artistic accents and intricately studded with glitter and gems. Uchiide-san compared the collection, officially launched this month, to a delicate art form. And on the relationship between art and beauty, he said: “Art is a spiritual pillar. If you didn’t have art around you, your life would have no taste. Imagine a world where you’re surrounded by a lack of beauty — it would be quite boring, I think.”
Q: What are some of the biggest make-up trends to experiment with now?
A: Beauty starts with beautiful skin, that’s the truth of beauty. (So) avoid heavy coverage; let your skin glow instead. The other focus is on the eyes. In the next season, there will be increased emphasis on false eyelashes, with the inspiration coming from the ’60s. I’m watching the eyebrow trend too. Right now, brow trends aren’t hot, but there is potential for them to become bigger. It’s natural and thick now. But avoid big black brows! (Laughs) I like the vivid lipstick in Korea — they have very beautiful fair skin and use matte lipsticks.
Q: What are your tips for women who are very busy but want to look good in a humid climate?
A: You should choose a simple approach. Everyone thinks you’ll achieve more if you layer on your foundation, but that’s the wrong idea. A thin layer of foundation is longer lasting than a thick one. Find a cream foundation that provides the perfect coverage, but a buildable one, to create a beautiful, sophisticated glow. Of course, eyeliner is very hot now. A simple liquid one is very effective. Red, bright lips are also on trend now.
Q: Your best make-up tip for concealing dark under eye circles?
A: Always start with skincare. Start with the cleansing oil and don’t forget lotion. People tend to skip the lotion step, but you should make time for it as it cools the skin’s temperature … Careful with the amount of cream though, not too much! After that, we can move on to face primer, then foundation and concealer. My tip is to stop at foundation if you think it’s enough. Also, people tend to choose lighter shades when it comes to concealer, but lighter shades can come across as grey-looking.
Q: What is one skincare product you recommend that everyone stock up on?
A: Cleansing oil! I’ve been using it for a long time, since I joined shu uemura. At the time, my skin wasn’t good, as I had acne. Even for male skin, removing impurities is the most important in the skincare process — every morning and night. You’ll be able to see the difference about 10 years later when you compare your skin with your friends’. I’m sure you’ll look much younger than your friends.
Q: What is the best beauty advice you’ve received?
A: Don’t look too much at your imperfections. When you look at yourself in the mirror, don’t get too close. Take one step back. This image is what others see. Find your good points.