Finally something beauty related. I need to really congratulate myself for finally being bothered to talk about anything beauty related (review wise) for a looong time.
I’ll probably start with a bit of random background and bits and pieces about myself as well as Pony to explain this post in better detail.
I used to (emphasis on the past tense) spend a lot of money on skincare and cosmetics when I was in my late teens (late meaning 19, 20 – even though 20 isn’t technically “teen” anymore) because I was always attracted to gifts with purchases and stuff like that. I hoard cosmetics to the point I have a supply good enough to last me several years – in fact, I still do it now. Back then, I really had quite an in depth knowledge about makeup, skin care and skin care routines because it was something that I really was interested in. I mean, back then I used to shape my brows and watch beauty tutorials – I knew a lot.
After a period of time, I was told by several people (whom I don’t need to mention, really) that I didn’t need to apply makeup. My closest friend whom I attended uni with for the entire 5 years never could tell when I actually had makeup on versus times when I didn’t wear it – SO… I then pretty much got lazy. I really did forget about makeup techniques. I haven’t shaped my brows for about 3 years – not that it’s a big deal to me, because I like the way they look, but that’s the extent of how lazy I am – and I realised how lazy I was until I came across this book.
I used to browse Soompi a lot for makeup inspiration, and one of my favourite threads contained makeup tutorials posted by none other than my favourite ulzzang, PONY (Park Hye Min). I honestly think she’s gorgeous, and her makeup skills are great. Her skin looks flawless and well, yeah, she’s just so pretty. I also thought that she was super generous for posting up free makeup tutorials online to share with fans or girls who just want to look pretty – I REALLY LOVE PONY. SHE IS FLAWLESS.
Ulzzang, or uhljjang is a Korean term given to someone who is idolised because of their looks – it literally means “best face” and ulzzangs are typically popular through their personal blogs, modelling photos they post up for personal or commercial purposes, and are even popular through winning ulzzang competitions online or on tv shows. Pony is one of them, and for good reason.
Yes, ulzzangs do photoshop their photos, they wear wigs, they wear makeup and they wear circle lens. Maybe the style’s not for everyone, but I am certainly drawn to it.
Pony’s makeup book isn’t really about makeup for ulzzangs – it’s more like an in-depth guide to the basics of makeup, makeup application, and then offering you a variety of tutorials as a base for you to start with so you can venture out on your own. There are limitless combinations if you follow her techniques (she has different eyeline drawing methods, which you could mix with different lips, cheek colour application and most importantly, eye makeup) so the so-called tutorials aren’t really looks like you need to follow solidly. It’s more like “here’s what you need to know – now go have fun.”
I found out about the release of ths book from WaiWai magazine – I logged onto Kinokuniya and found that they were still waiting for the shipment to arrive. Literally just a few days ago I checked and realised they had stock. I HAD TO GET IT.
It’s fairly popular as I bought one out of two remaining books. The retail price is $25.88AUD and it’s available at Kinokuniya bookstores. You may also order the book from Yesasia for around $23USD but shipping will cost extra and you will have to wait for it to arrive.
The book has been translated into Chinese, so for those who were worrying about not understanding Korean, problem solved. Of course, if you can’t read Chinese, you could probably still understand everything from her easy to follow diagrams, but you won’t be able to read her extra tips that are on the side.
As you can see from the cover (which I was too excited to bother reading, I just grabbed the book and headed straight for the counter), there are looks for all year round – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter looks, and there’s a 90 minute DVD which is included, so it’s actually fairly good value for money. Everything is in high quality gloss paper and in full colour. I also like the covers because it’s well constructed and have flaps you can use as bookmarks to mark your favourite pages.
The book starts off with the basics of how to highlight and contour different face shapes. I’m really amazed at Pony’s care and detail put into this book because she actually talks about all sorts of different face shapes (about 4 from memory), and not just her own face shape, which is well, obviously, really quite nice ;_; Haha. She tells you exactly where to apply highlighter and even blush, as well as how to shape your brows and what they should look like.
She also goes through the basics of priming, concealing and just basic face stuff to get your look flawless. She even teaches you how to conceal freckles.
There is an entire section about eye makeup, which includes eyelining (she goes through different types of liners – pencil, liquid, cream/ gel), eyebrows (how to trim your brows), mascara (different eyelash types, what mascara brush to use, and product recommendations), false lash application.
As you can see, the product recommendations are really handy for people who are new to makeup. If you find makeup difficult and the look out for good products a pain, you can just copy the list of products and buy those. There are prices included (albeit in Taiwan NT, which doesn’t really help me) so you can decide whether or not you want to buy the products or not. One thing to note though is that Pony does tend to use a lot of professional, high end products which means for those who aren’t so adept at makeup, may be looking at quite an expensive shopping list of makeup items to buy.
Not only that, she has this list for like every look. EVERYTHING. So much dedication. But if you trusted each tutorial… that’s… a lot to buy.
Personally, I don’t look at the lists because I’m more interested in the techniques rather than the products used – well, it’s probably helpful for some people.
This is one of my favourite photos of Pony in the book and it features her with smoky eye makeup which I think is really pretty.
The tutorials are fairly straightforward to understand (it’s like, a picture of her eye, with a bubble marking where you should apply stuff) so it’s fairly straight forward. The tutorials only teach you eye makeup, however. They do not tell you how to do the cheeks or lips.
There are sections that teach you how to apply blush and how to do lip makeup, so you just have to figure it out yourself and follow the corresponding tutorial you think fits the eye tutorial best. This is what I mean by mix and match. Having said that, I didn’t take any photos of her looks because they’re actually similar to her previous tutorials online – only it’s just about the eye only. It doesn’t talk about prepping the face whatsoever – you need to get it from the basics at the beginning of the book.
- There are also other things that the book includes, which may be useful:
- Makeup for single lids (monolids) – there are about 3-4 looks – so single lidded girls are not excluded!
- Makeup that can be done in 10minutes ie. natural/ work makeup for those with a busy lifestyle
- Makeup for those who wear glasses
- How to clean your makeup utensils
- How to cleanse your face/ remove makeup properly
Overall, I think that the book has a good variety of looks from natural, to sweet, to sexy for a good range of events. It also covers girls of all face shapes and eye types, which is good. Like the book aims to do so, it does cover you for the entire year regardless of whatever occasion you need to attend, so it’s a handy book to have around in times when you’re really stuck on what to do. The best part is that you just need to like the photo of her, decide you like the look and then follow the tutorial. Fairly straight forward – just make sure you have the colours for it.
I was under the misconception that there were like 70 tutorials because that’s what I read somewhere – but that’s not the case. If you include every single thing she talks about, maybe there are 70 things, but in terms of just eye makeup tutorials, there are about 30-40 of them, which isn’t bad.
The DVD includes step by step instructions of 12 selected looks. They are just video snippets of Pony talking, and applying makeup with really dodgy Chinese subtitles which were lazily pasted on. Not everything she says is translated, and to be honest, it’s boring. You don’t get to see her full face… you just… see… her… eye >_>
The DVD (more specifically, DVD-ROM) was a nice touch, but I rather stick with the book.
As a fan of Pony, this book is something I think I spent my money well on. However, if you were after unique tutorials, I think some of her tutorials she posted online were actually way more innovative than the ones she has in the book, which tended to be a bit more conservative. She did however, repeat her Golden Cat tutorial in this book. Too bad she didn’t include Russian Blue or Juliette – those were some of my favourites. But then again, they reside in my computer in a folder dedicated to Pony tutorials 😉
Hope this has provided some insight for this makeup book. I’m most likely going to blog again later tonight because I have a crapload of stuff to upload, but if you don’t see the post, maybe next week. Guh. I have a lot to write about.