If you are Asian and have been shopping for mineral makeup you may be familiar with this scenario. You buy a color that looks great in the jar, get it home, try it on and all of a sudden you either look orange or pink and ashy. Neither is an attractive look, and after trying a couple brands and experiencing the same results you just give up and go back to your previous traditional makeup.
Mineral makeup is not new, but the concept is having resurgence in North America and Europe. Because these areas do not have the high concentrations of Asian skin tones to work with, it is easy for companies to misinterpret the need. In reality, there is a great need for Asian skin tone mineral makeup and while there are only a few companies actively pursuing the Asian market, it is beginning to grow. Asian skin has a distinct yellow undertone and the pigments used for coloring cosmetics often have an orange or pink undertone, which are unsuitable for Asian skin. However, the right mineral makeup can make all the difference in how your skin looks and feels. One example of a company whose products are specifically formulated and created for women of color is Sheer Aqua (www.sheeraqua.com). I have found that their cosmetics are extremely pure and come in an a array of colors that nicely complement the yellow and golden undertones skin of Asians, Latinas, Hispanics, bi-racial, mixed race, and women of Mediterranean descent.
Basic Asian Skin Traits
It’s obvious that Asian skin tones are often yellow, but it’s what is less obvious that makes mineral makeup an ideal solution for Asian skin. Asian skin is often smooth with few pores. It is more prone to irritation because common preservatives, fragrances and alcohol suitable for other skin types react badly on Asian skin. Asian skin is also more prone to acne, so be careful of cosmetic grade oils and esters as they may be easily trapped in your pores and cause the blockage known as acne. Asian skin has better elasticity and more collagen.
Basically, Asian skin is sensitive skin. Mineral makeup is non-comedogenic and will not clog your pores. It also has no harsh chemicals, synthetic preservatives, talc, alcohols, fragrances or other ingredients known to irritate sensitive skin. Mineral makeup helps camouflage larger pores or skin discolorations without putting oils or parabens on your skin. Now that you know the benefits of mineral makeup, it’s merely a matter of finding the right foundation color.
Asian Skin tones
There are several basic Asian skin tones. You may fall in only one category or you may be a combination. This is merely a guide to help you find the right mineral makeup foundation color.
Japanese: is the lightest skin tone, with little skin redness
Chinese: is the next lightest, but can be darker, with little skin redness
Filipino (Malay): is in the middle
Thai: is darker, and often similar to Latin skin tones
Indians: are the darkest skin tone, with high skin redness
Chinese and Korean skin tends to show fewer wrinkles, but are also the most likely to turn more yellow with age. Filipino (Malay) have the most yellow skin. East Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese) tend to have more yellow tones, while South Asian (Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Indians, Pakistani) and Middle Eastern women will tend to have more olive skin tones.
What Do I Do Now?
Using the basic guidelines above, you should be able to fairly accurately choose what your skin tone is. Next, find a company (ideally one where you can visit the store and try the colors with the help of a makeup artist) offering colors to suit Asian skin tones and sample their products. A makeup artist in one of these stores can help you learn how to apply mineral makeup and how to choose the right color for your skin tone.
Mineral makeup is applied a bit differently than traditional makeup and it’s always easier to learn if someone can show you hands-on how it’s done. Plus, it gives you a chance to try different colors and see if they work for you before you commit to buying a full size product.
Because Asian skin is so diverse and has many subcategories of color, don’t be discouraged if the first foundation color does not work. Keep trying and you will find the right color and it is well worth it when you do. The best thing to do is find a company that specializes in Asian skin tones or has worked closely with Asian clientele. These companies are working hard to develop colors that look natural on Asian women. They know how Asian skin reacts to colors and formulas and they are able to make products most compatible with Asian skin. Their foundation colors are yellow with no orange or pink, tan with no orange or true olive.
Mineral cosmetic/skin care expert and beauty consultant. Sheer Aqua Mineral Cosmetics and Skin Care
Photo Credit: nuchylee