Renato's magic toolkit

Make Me Over: A New Look With the Shiseido Spring Collection

The new Shiseido spring collection

The new Shiseido spring collection

This past weekend, I had the honor of getting a spring makeover by a former Mad Man. No, Don Draper did not swoop into the Macy’s at Pentagon City in Virginia to caress my cheek with a soft hint of blush (*sigh*), but I did get an equally glorious experience with Shiseido’s debonair national makeup artist, Renato Almeida, who began his career in advertising before becoming the makeup maestro he is now. As if it wasn’t amazing enough to be transformed by this talented Brazilian native, I also had the pleasure of sharing the experience with one of my favorite beauty bloggers, Charleston Girl from Best Things in Beauty.

When I arrived sans makeup (Charleston Girl arrived looking gorgeous in her own makeup; I was jealous), I was thoroughly pumped to see what Renato’s choices would be from the Shiseido line. Having already previewed select items from the Shiseido Spring 2010 collection, I wondered what the man who works on Fashion Week runway models and celebrities like Naomi Watts would say fit for my run-of-the-mill mug. I was also extremely curious to see how Renato would approach Charleston Girl using the same collection, given that we have very different coloring for our eyes, hair and skin. Surprisingly enough, he chose the same shade eyeshadow for us both (though he also added another color to my look)!

Charleston Girl and me before Renato worked his magic!

Charleston Girl and me before Renato worked his magic!

After first being chastised by the Charleston Girl for sitting in the sun without protection the day earlier (I know, I know!), which had made my complexion uneven, Renato got down to business. As Renato began to work his makeover magic on me, he went straight for the eyes. Why the eyes before foundation or anything else, you ask? It’s only logical; Renato explained that when you start with eyes, you can go back and clean up any mistakes or eyeshadow dust fall-out on your cheeks without ruining an already-completed look.

Renato's magic toolkit

Renato’s magic toolkit

Renato began by prepping my lids up to the brow-bone with Shiseido #2 concealer, which he then “set” with a dusting of translucent powder. This would help lock in the shadow he would later apply, so it wouldn’t smudge, melt or crease during the day. Next, he swept on Luminizing Satin Eye Color in BE202 ($25), a gorgeous shade of subtle caramel, expertly blending from the base of my lids all the way up to just under the brow bone, leaving just a tiny area without shadow to serve as a highlight. Then came the fun part.

Renato selected this TO DIE FOR warm gold shadow GD810, which he blended just on the eyelids themselves (blending is extremely important when pulling off any eyeshadow look). This shadow absolutely gorgeous — it has a warm, bronzy shimmer to it, but it doesn’t go overboard with the shimmer flecks. Renato explained that with these colors, he would bring out the green in my eyes; he likes to focus on enhancing a woman’s natural eye color rather than trying to make a trend fit when it doesn’t or match shadow to what the woman is wearing. The GD810 shadow is so versatile that he also used it on Charleston Girl to help make her blue eyes pop. The lesson here? This gold shadow will look amazing on pretty much everyone!

gold eyes

Renato used GD810 Luminizing Satin Eye Color on both of us

Renato continued with my eyes by lining inside the waterline on both the top and bottom lids using Accentuating Cream Eyeliner ($26) in black. Charleston Girl received a more subtle liner look using a brown pencil liner. After that, he curled my lashes (a first, because I NEVER let anyone curl them besides me!) and he coated them with Mascara Base ($23) to prime them, followed with a solid sweep of black mascara. He filled in a sparse area of my brows (even thick browed girls could use some help!) with Natural Eyebrow Pencil BR603 ($20), and we were ready to move on to the rest of my face.

Renato selects a lipstick for Charleston Girl

Renato selects a lipstick for Charleston Girl

Renato smoothed out my skin and reduced the appearance of pores with the magical Pureness Mattifying Moisturizer ($32). Then, he was able to match my uneven skin tone (my face is lighter than my decollete) using Dual Balancing Foundation in I40 ($38.50). I really loved this foundation, as it gave fairly good coverage and didn’t dry my skin out, which usually happens around my nose. It was one of those rare instances where I really didn’t feel like I had any foundation on at all, and it looked that way too (well, except for the fact that it looked WAY better than I do when I’m not wearing anything!).

Then came my other new love: Luminizing Satin Face Color in RD103. Where has this little blush been all my life? Seriously — this coral/peachy color worked PERFECTLY with my skin tone, really warming it and brightening it at the same time. I’m regretting that I didn’t buy it on the spot, and I’ll definitely be back soon to pick it up.  I was equally as smitten with the Accentuating Color Stick Renato used on Charleston Girl in S1. Used as a blush, it really gave her a beautiful glow that looked so perfect on her.

For my lips, Renato kept it simple. He selected fairly neutral beige/toffee shades: Smoothing Lip Pencil ($20) in BE701, Perfect Rouge lipstick in BE208, and Luminizing Lip Gloss in BR302. The end result was fabulous — lips that looked like I was born with them, but with a fuller look and a nice shine. The best part was that none of these products felt heavy like so many liner/lipstick/gloss combos can. It really felt like I only had the gloss on — and a non-sticky gloss at that! Charleston Girl also loved her lip color choice, which was a more noticeable color (Perfect Rouge Tender Sheer in RD629) , but worked so well for her, accentuating the fullness of her lips. Gorgeous!

The final result for the both of us:

Beautiful bloggers

After Renato’s makeover

This was an incredible experience, and I encourage all of you to check out your nearest Shiseido counter (in virtually every department store), so you can test out these products for yourself and find the ones that work best for you. In all, the quality of each Shiseido product was professional grade, so it’s quite a steal given the fact that most of the makeup products are under $50 each!

Thanks again to the entire Shiseido team for guiding us through this experience! A special shout-out goes to Melissa Shaw from the Pentagon City Macy’s, who assisted Renato during our transformations.

Renato and his assistant

Melissa and Renato

Have you tried any of the new Shiseido products yet? Let us know in the comments!

Photos: Shiseido; Anne Houseman/BeautyXpose