When Cheng Yi Lin, put Shu Uemura makeup to work on her canvas, she wasn't the first nor the last to do so. Karl Lagerfeld himself, who co-created a makeup range with the brand for his pet cat Choupette, famously uses Shu Uemura makeup to draw his sketches. This time, Cheng created a drawing of the Marina Bay landscape using just the brand's makeup.
She started her piece by using Shu Uemura Pressed Eye Shadows and then used four kinds of liner — Metal:ink, Drawing Pencil, Calligraph:ink and Lasting Soft Gel Pencil Shadows — to complete the details of the sketch. From her demonstration, you can get a pretty good idea of which liners work well for which purposes. Calligraph:ink, for example can create both thick and precise lines while the Lasting Soft Gel Liner glides on smoothly on the canvas and gives a soft texture. To learn more about the campaign and the brand's liners, click here.
And if seeing all these liners in action have given you inspiration to up your eyeliner game, head down to a Shu Uemura counter for a 10-minute, complimentary tutorial. Choose from four different looks and get a truly hands-on experience when it comes to create steady, perfect, even lines. With makeup designed to work with Asian eye shapes, you're one step closer to truly aceing your makeup routine.
Here Cheng gives us some insight on the project and working with just makeup as her primary tools.
How did you come into illustrating as a career?
My interest in art started as a teen. Attending an art college, where I majored in fashion design, allowed me to hone my skills and widen my exposure to different illustration styles. I worked as an assistant fashion designer in New York for two years, and the experience really developed my artistic sensibility. I decided to become a freelance illustrator last year, as I missed making my own art and having the freedom to explore other projects. Currently, I do freelance fashion design and commissioned illustrations, and I also run a paper goods line with my sister, featuring designs created from my paintings and hand lettering.
How did this project with Shu Uemura come about, and can you tell us a bit more about your thought process?
Shu Uemura Singapore came across my online profile and portfolio, and invited me to participate in the creation of an illustration-based video showcasing their range of eyeliners. Shu Uemura's belief in the 'art of beauty' and their desire to celebrate local artistic talents truly resonated with me, and I was excited to take on the project.
We thought about the fundamental concept of a 'line', and wanted to promote the idea that eyeliner emphasises the eyes and brings the face to life. We decided to depict the illustration process in our video starting with application of eyeshadow colours to create a slightly abstract effect, and subsequently achieving definition with various eyeliners. Illustration is the perfect medium for this project as makeup, like art, promotes expression of individuality. Shu Uemura's eyeliners, which come in numerous hues and textures, allow the user to become an artist and create infinite expressions.
How long did it take you to complete this artwork, and why Singapore's skyline?
The entire process from conceptualisation to execution took about three weeks. I started by developing a composition and creating a 'muse' that represents the Shu Uemura girl, and worked on refining the techniques and colours. The actual execution of the final illustration was filmed in one day. We wanted to incorporate Singapore's skyline as it speaks to our main target group of working young Singaporean women, and lends a cool modern, urban vibe to the illustration. More importantly, symbolically, the use of Singapore's skyline with an edgy shu:girl showcases the translation of the latest makeup trends from Tokyo to Singapore.
Which aspect of this project did you find most challenging?
The most challenging aspect of this project was working with unconventional drawing tools (i.e. the eyeshadows and eyeliner pens), as well as executing the final illustration while being filmed. It took a few rounds of experimentation and practice to get the technique right. Being filmed was a unique experience as I had to do the drawing under unfamiliar conditions (a staged set and lighting, with the camera in front of me).
What did you think of the products you used?
I was pleasantly surprised to discover Shu Uemura's range of eyeliners through this project and was very impressed with the results. The smooth liquid application of the Calligraph:ink liner made it feel like a real ink brush, and enabled me to create variation in line width and pressure when outlining. The texture of the black Soft Gel Liner made for a softer line, the colours of the drawing pencils were vivid, and the Metal:ink liners added a fun sparkle that mimics light and metal surfaces. The wide spectrum of hues for both the Drawing Pencils and Metal:ink liners was fantastic to play with. I will definitely be trying Shu Uemura's eyeliners for my own makeup as well!
What do you think of makeup and art?
Makeup, much like art, promotes expression of individuality. Just as art reflects the mental state of the artist, makeup can be used in infinite ways to express one's mood for that day. Makeup allows me to channel a certain aspect of my personality and convey a desired image. above all, both makeup and art should be fun!
Watch the video of Cheng creating the drawing below: