Shade of you

26 Aug 2019 / 13:42 H.

DO you have what it takes to pull off bright red lips? Whatever the answer is, the lips appear beautiful not because its shade is stylish but because it is natural.

We can even go as far as to measure the beauty of lips based on its symmetrical proportion by using the golden ratio, or as crazy as to use the Pythagoras theorem. But that was in ancient Greek, the present 21st century rejects the nature of beauty by philosophers and great minds alike in favour of experimental aesthetics: botox and piercing as a status affirmation to fit beauty standards led by mass media.

The notion of beauty has long been discarded in the abstract sense, it no longer dwells on the technicality and the physicality of things but rather the vehemence of emotions and great sentimentality rooted in the human psyche – beauty in virtues that is.

Audrey Hepburn was once asked about her beauty secrets in which she replied: “For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the food in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you will never walk alone.”

Here, twin sisters and fashion influencers Cherrie Liong and Evangeline Liong of Les Cosmetics share: “For us, what has changed is that the idea of makeup isn’t about covering up flaws, it’s about bringing your individuality and true self forward. Beauty comes in different forms and expressions; we see it as being confident, unique and adventurous.”

There may be standards in beauty, but there are no rules in makeup. There may be bold colours, but one’s bold colour is not bold to another; it may be for you but you wouldn’t know until you try it out.

Therefore, Les Cosmetics’ one and only approach to makeup is to experiment. Self-confessed beauty junkie Cherrie reveals: “I’m so obsessed with doing my makeup, there’s no harm in playing around with it and feeling good about yourself. As a beauty junkie, I’ve got a personal collection of over 500 lipsticks.

“To this day, I can’t leave the house without lipstick on, hence, I wanted to create a cosmetic line that I’m obsessed to wear every day and that’s how Les Cosmetics started.”

To think 500 lipsticks is a lot, put that in perspective, that’s 500 different colours which aren’t that many. Italian artist and designer Bruno Munari argued that there are 12,000 colours in the world, even if one cannot be distinguished apart from its similar shade.

However, people talk about colours too loosely. Lipsticks, some with satin, matte or glossy finish glide on the lips with various sheer or opaque consistency. Colour perceived by human eyes changes according to the material of its surface which it is applied on, just as in music, the same notes sound individually different when played on a trumpet and another on the violin.

Hence, we begin to wonder if colours show up differently on different lip textures. In theory, a painting painted in acrylics differs from the same exact colour in oil because roughness or smoothness of the surface determines the result. Colour on smooth surface reflects light to appear vibrant, while colour of the same shade on rough surface appears matt or subdued.

In additon to the broad spectrum of skin undertones on top of dry, chapped, flaky or nourished lips, lipstick of the same colour definitely looks different on everyone because lipsticks are not universal. There are more to colours that we couldn’t possibly understand, and what other way to understand the dynamics of colour than to craft a beauty brand from scratch.

Seen on Les Cosmetics’ debut collection, its Artless Matte Liquid Lipsticks, Cherrie explains: “We’ve travelled to Italy where our brand is made to craft and study the colours, formulation and textures.

“We’ve learned so much about the beauty world that we never knew about.”

Les Cosmetics Artless Matte Liquid Lipstick collection is available in four shades: peachy nude in warm tone (shade #001), beige nude (shade #003), dark bloody red (shade #022) and muted plum (shade #209).

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