Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Smokey Eyed Ninja

Ni-hao everyone (^.^)

In today's makeup post, I'm featuring my go-to classic gray smokey eye. As we know, makeup is meant to enhance our features--not change them--and keeping this in mind, I want to show how the smokey eye can be flattering to asian eyes. I notice that a lot of asian girls use the smokey technique to hide or "conceal" their monolids, applying dark shadow all over and covering the natural cut that makes our eyes so distinct. Not only do I see this as unflattering, I strongly believe that ethnic features should be highlighted and emphasized rather than covered up and downplayed. Anyway, my rant for the day... on to the maquillage!

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^>.>^ Monolids, Epicanthic folds, Almond-Shaped, or Slanted Eyes? ^<.<^

Not all asian eyes are cut the same :) I have a small crease, but I don't have monolids (the absense of a crease), and though my eyes open wide, they're considered slanted and "almond-shaped". My lids are hooded on the outer corners and I have epicanthic folds covering my inner corners. Does that affect my makeup application? Well... sometimes. However, I've learned to work with it and I'm going to show you how I do it (^_~)

For this look, I used 3 matte eyeshadows: Black (Urban Decay Zero), Gray (Rimmel quad) and a Pale Ochre. I started by applying a NYX white base as a primer all over my lid.
  1. I lined the outer half of my upper lash line with a black pencil liner and smudged it out and upwards using a black shadow on a smudger brush
  2. Taking the gray shadow on a dome brush, I applied it right above the black, blending the two colors together 
  3. Because I have hooded lids, I wanted to keep the shape of the eyeshadow somewhat parallel to my bottom lash line which curves up at the outer corners. I concentrated the color on the outer portion of my lid, bringing the corners up, almost like a cat eye. This is the key to accentuating asian eyes.
  4. Next, I blended out the inner portion of the lid by applying a light ochre color over it with a dome brush.
  5. I finished the eye look by smudging a bit of black shadow under my lower lash line and applying some mascara and lash accents.

On my lips, I'm wearing MAC amplified creme lipstick in Underplay. I love this nude pale peach, it's very flattering on my "asian" skin tone (don't mind the blond euro lock creeping in)

Me so Asian: People often confuse me for Filipino and Hawaiian, and I am always spoken to in Mandarin or Cantonese when in Chinatown... Koreans think I'm Korean, especially when I shop for Korean cosmetics, and I've also gotten Thai and Japanese... I like being a ninja chameleon. Truth is, I'm from Russia, and it's kind of not funny anymore seeing people's reaction to my real ethnicity hehe... People are often disappointed and left in disbelief, because they assume I'm something more exotic. I guess most people don't realize that 75% of Russia is in Asia and that there are over 160 different ethnic groups and over 100 languages spoken within the Russian Federation... Oh well... To make it simpler, I usually tell people that I'm from Russia and classify myself as Eurasian -- part Slavic, part Turkic, part Mongol. I have several blood lines: Russian, Bashkort, Estonian and allegedly some others which I won't get into. My papa is always making discoveries with no solid proof... 
Ninja Eyes by Maryam Maquillage

Maquillage tip: Embrace your unique features and let your makeup enhance your natural eye slant, your prominent cheekbones and your yellow undertones. Some things don't need to be fixed, so be you and be proud!


Maryam Maquillage



  1. That's so cool that you have a different look. Plain Jane is no fun anyway :P. I sometimes get questions about my ethnicity too. When Im tanned ppl think Im spanish or arab, when Im pale they think Im eastern European b/c of my high cheekbones and dark hair. Truth is, Im Turkish :), but my mom suspects there might be some Russian in there somewhere down the line on her mom's side of the family.

    1. Probably a little Italian too , from when Turkey was part of the Roman Empire .

  2. You look lovely :) Love the make up look, I think you really do have such an exotic look I thought you were asian too! gorgeous! xxxx

  3. You're so beautiful it's insane!!!! ♥♥

    Love how you accentuated your beautiful eyes... My eyes are tiny and get asked all the time if I'm asian (which I'm not).
    I need to get some tips on how to play up my eyes as gorgeous as you did yours!

    You are such a beauty, I'm sure people are constantly staring at you ^_^


  4. thanks beautiful ladies!! @Vikky-Gabrielle: I am asian, just not far east asian lol... more like central haha

  5. smokey sexy ninja eyes lol even as a ninja you mad fit, sexy and everything!!


  6. your make up looks absolutely stunning... you made it such away that, its very suitable for even day time xx

  7. beautiful as always!! I love your smokey look! I am surprise that you are Russian actually because I do think you look like from Philippines or Korean.. well. it doesn't matter, you're beautiful! ^___^

  8. thanks dearies :)) @Shareena: I'm half Russian, half Bashkort (from Bashkortostan) :D

  9. beautiful eye look- especially love it paired with that lipstick! gorgeous!

  10. Hello! I just found your blog, and I think you are absolutely gorgeous!
    I'm Filipino myself, and often get mistaken for Mexican or something similar lolol!
    I would never have guessed you were Russian, but it's so cool that you are!
    <3<3<3 :)

  11. wow you totally answered all my questions, I was seriously planning on commenting what ur ethnicity is because u look very different but then you say you have asian eyes so I assumed you were Chinese or something along that line.. but you're very mixed! I always think you have awesomeeee cheekbones s2!!! and people sometimes think I'm thai, viet, filipino and the most funniest one was KOREAN.. I was like whattttt?? that's soo different from teh usual comments I get!! HAHA I think its because I had my hair in a bun lol

  12. That lip color looks very pretty on you!

  13. i totally thought you were filipino and white! haha. but i love your beauty its soo exotic. and your makeup here is sexy you look gorgeous :)

  14. You look gorgeous Maryam! And thanks for the clarification on your background. I knew you were russian and assumeed you had monogol or turkic background and you clarified it! PS Love how your papa's always finding new ethnicities/backgrounds to lay claim to! LOL


  15. Your eyes are so pretty, you have AMAZING features =]

  16. Looking goood, you need to do an eyebrow tutorial!! <3

  17. Love the look, it really does suit your features. I completely agree with you. I kind of have something similar. I have pretty small eyes, and I am fair skinned with a slight yellow undertone. Many people assume that I am part Asian or something of the sort, but I am actually Mexican/Spanish/ French. My parents are from Mexico but we have some mixed bloodlines. But I find it funny to go to a Mexican store and have cashiers speak to me in broken English, and then seeing their reactions when I speak Spanish to them.

  18. damn - lots of comments! GO MASHA!

    Love this look!!!!! You look yummy!

  19. Haha, yes I could even open my own salon. My friends always say that.

  20. Thanks so much for all your thoughtful comments!!! I guess a lot of you can relate :)))
    @Widdlesh: yeah I get mistakes for Mexican, Colombian, Ecuadorian, etc. all the time too... I'll save that for another post haha
    @Alx: I guess people have a hard time telling bw a Chinese & Korean lol
    @Lilit: my mom comes from a very Armenian region in Northern Caucasus Russia, so I wouldn't be surprised hehe... I wanna lay claim haha!
    @Yami: I do the same with Russian people... I often catch them talking about me thinking I don't understand hahaha

  21. Beautiful makeup! I love the grey smokey eye look but I havent quite mastered the look on myself since my eyes are small and i have a round face. =/ You actually look alot like a friend of mine, she's from El Salvador. I swear you guys could be twins! lols.

  22. i so agree with you! you look absolutely stunning, and this look seems so easy! :)


  23. that lipstick looks really good on you! thumbs up for a great educational tutorial :) I never would have thought you were Russian!


  24. Wow, I love your eye makeup, it's done so beautifully.

    And your high cheekbones are TDF. ♥

    The Cat Hag

  25. Love the makeup!

    I have a giveaway on my blog. Please check it out. Link to giveaway here!


  26. You have beautiful features and I absolutely love the makeup!

  27. Ni-hao! love your smokey eyes =)
    and nice blog, new follower!

  28. Gorgeous look! Smokey eyes look great on you!

  29. I should try this! I know exactly what you mean for asians w monolids... more or lesss does a technique work for them. I dont have a monolid but my eyes are still really "chinky" so sometimes eyeshadow isn't an option for me, my eyes are also kinda "hooded" but im not quite sure if we have the same eyes but description wise I'm sure :) thanks for this post!

  30. Soo beautiful!


  31. I love this look!

    You are an absolute babe and a half <3

  32. Oh this looks really lovely. I wanna try this but wonder if I can really create it lol

  33. Wow, this tutorial is great!!! I have the same eyes, and I really don't know what to do! Thanks!!

    *and keep writing more tutorials!
    Mwah! <3

  34. Question on step 1:
    I lined the outer half of my upper lash line with a black pencil liner and smudged it out and upwards using a black shadow on a smudger brush

    Why don't you line all the upper lash line?
    Would you say that this technique also works great on charcoal eyeliner which has a grayish tint?


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