Sunday, April 25, 2010

Shiseido Spring Collection - Part 1

Yesterday, Anne Houseman of BeautyXposé and I had the pleasure having our makeup perfected by Renato Almeida, National Makeup Artist for Shiseido. We met up at the Macy's at Pentagon City - outside my usual haunts, and far outside Anne's, since she just moved to Virginia from Boston. First thing I did when I walked in the store? Yep, you guessed it. I walked by a shoe sale. Some darling little Calvin Klein gold flats with a spongy rubber sole for comfort and a cute gold three-dimensional flower on top reached out and grabbed me. Great little numbers at a great price - and so comfy!

Anne arrived smartly wearing no makeup, and I came with my usual natural makeup look. That's an age difference, I think. She's young, while I'm, well, "older." Above is a snapshot of the two of us after Renato worked his magic.

Before I get to the artist and the makeup after this long introduction, I want to tell you that I was greeted by many warm and welcoming people - freelance artists, Shiseido reps, sales associates. They offered me a face massage (which I declined like a fool), played with colors with me (I arrived early), offered me chairs at every step (I still have bum knees from my unfortunate encounter with Synvisc-ONE). I felt at home. That's nice in a bustling department store.

Working in the beauty industry for more than eight years, Renato Almeida has helped bring makeup trends from the fashion world to the real world. Renato has spent most of his beauty career working backstage at New York fashion week and on fashion photo shoots, which has contributed to his strong reputation as one of the industry's most sought-after makeup artists. Since his partnership with Shiseido in 2006, he has worked to help today's and tomorrow's Shiseido customers look our best with his effective techniques and flattering Shiseido color combinations. My impression of Renato? He has an "eye." He doesn't paint by numbers. He applies, checks, and blends. He checks over and over again, using his keen eye to ensure that the effect he's trying to create is working. While all makeup artists "look while they work," Renato has trained his eyes to look frequently - he's not easily distracted - and the result is a flawless makeup application, with colors that work for the client and a look that telegraphs, "How pretty you look," not "Your makeup is fabulous."

I'm always interested in how people arrived at their calling. Before our makeup sessions, I had a few minutes to talk with Renato, who originally worked as an advertising copy editor in Brazil. First he landed in Los Angeles. His interests in art, fashion, and photography led him to New York, where he worked for three years with Linda Cantello, currently International Makeup Artist and color guru for Armani Beauty, before branching out on his own. With Linda, he had the pleasure of collaborating with (he says observing) her as she created new color collections for YSL.

Shiseido's spring collection, designed by Dick Page, is gorgeous, like so many others this season. Before we started, I had an opportunity to ask Renato what makes Shiseido makeup unique and to show me his favorite color items. Shiseido, you probably know, is well-known for its skin care. As a result, the company includes skin-care ingredients in all of its makeup too. They want your makeup to work for you while you wear it - not just sit on your skin. That's nice for all of us - young and older.

Renato's favorite Shiseido product selections? He used them on Anne and me!

Mascara Base ($23): a moisturizing treatment that treats, enhances, and protects your lashes from the "ravages" of mascara ingredients and adds volume, curl, and length to make your mascara pop.
Lasting Lift Mascara ($23): the Shiseido waterproof, oilproof, and sweatproof mascara with a great texture that lifts and plumps the lashes, allowing lash-by-lash definition.
Accentuating Cream Eyeliner ($26): a long-lasting cream formula that comes with a brush that is actually useful. Renato prefers thin eyeliner (a man after my heart) to define the eye and make the lashes look lush, and he uses my favorite technique (upper liner applied from underneath the lashes to draw a perfect line). He used black on Anne.
Corrector Pencil ($17): not white, but a natural yellow/beige blend that he uses to conceal the red membranes of the inner eyelids - and it lasts through tears!
Two new bright Perfect Rouge ($25) lipsticks - all the rage now - OR418 (bright orange) and RS320 (bright fuschia), lip colors that demand a soft eye.
Luminizing Satin Eye Color ($25) in PK319, GD810, BR303, and BE202 - all warm, from pink to copper. The little color swatches on the Web site don't do these justice. They are luminous without sparkle - truly lovely.

Tune in later today for Part 2. I'll tell you about the spring colors, the products he used on Anne and me, and his application techniques. While our hair, eye, and skin colors are different, he used the same fabulous copper-toned eye shadow on both of us (GD810) with extremely satisfying results! Her green eyes were greener, and my blue eyes were bluer! I was also enamored with Accentuating Color Stick ($33), a multipurpose cream for eyes, lips, cheeks, and body. Renato used the color stick in S1, Bronze Flush, as my blusher. I loved it! It wasn't my "intuitive" color choice, but it warmed my skin and made me look softly chiseled and dewy. He knew exactly what he was doing. It was love!

Collection photo courtesy of Shiseido


Anne said...

This was so much fun, and it was really a pleasure to meet you and the wonderful Shiseido team! PS - Arriving sans makeup was EXTREMELY difficult for me. My husband was shocked I went out without anything on at all!

Charlestongirl said...

LOL, Anne! I actually considered it, but didn't want to scare the shoppers.

Loved meeting you too and am looking forward to more shopping ops! And food and drink.

Laurie said...

How fun! I miss P City! Renato sure is handsome....would not mind having my makeup done by him one bit:)

Charlestongirl said...

Laurie, he's handsome and quite the gentleman too! He travels, so I'm sure you'll get to meet him sometime. Check out the event page at Shiseido's site.

Fab Over 40 said...

You both look lovely - can't wait to see what products he used on you.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Fab! I just posted the finished looks. I wish I had a better photo of Anne. I needed a clean close-up. I hope she will post one on her site this week!

May be time for that new camera for me!

Angela K. said...

What's your take on Shiseido foundation? I wanted to love it - I really do love their Pureness Softener, even though their makeup artist couldn't say a word about *how* it makes moisturizer... moisturize better - I think I scared her by wanting to know the science behind it. But anyway, the whole Pureness line is great, and overall I really like the company.

However, I was unimpressed with the way their foundation ... sat on my skin. I don't have particularly dry skin (most of the time, anyway), but this seemed to settle into fine lines I didn't even know I had! I know it wasn't my moisturizer, etc., because I was using Shiseido! The color wasn't a great match either - but maybe that was the makeup artist's fault. I was hoping to be blown away by their ability to match olive complexions (the bonus of dealing with a company that originally catered to an Asian market) - but unfortunately I still ended up with a foundation that gave me a pink cast.

Anyway, sorry to be long-winded. Thoughts on their foundation? Should I give it another go? It's been a year or so...

Charlestongirl said...


That's a great question, and I'm going to get an answer for you today. I can't answer it. I have no experience with Shiseido foundation, and Renato didn't put any on me. I came laden in Armani's award-winning Luminous Silk, and he must have liked it. :)

The line makes sure it satisfies its Asian customers, but I suspect there is a shade and formulation for everyone.

Renato used an I shade on Anne, and you wouldn't have guessed by just glancing at her that it was "the one." When he had blended, though, it looked perfect.

Anyhow, give me the day, and I'll be back!

Charlestongirl said...

Angela, here is an answer from a friendly Shiseido person.

"I would like to know which foundation she is using. We have several types. Hydro-Liquid, Powdery, Stick, etc. What kind of coverage is she looking for?

In my experience, our Advanced Hydro-Liquid Foundation is very popular and has medium coverage and has a matte finish. It is a cream-to-powder foundation and would help with moisture. We also have a liquid foundation called Lifting Foundation. It is moisture rich and is good for dry skin. If she has an olive skin tone, maybe she should try a color in the Ocher family. It has a little bit more yellow undertone. Our beige family is more pink.

In a nutshell...she should go to the counter and try the different types of foundation. We have seven different kinds and can surely find one that fits her needs."

Does that help?