I Stepped Out of My Beauty Comfort Zone And Onto Shu Uemura's Facebook Page

When Runa and I were chosen to participate as models in the new Shu Uemura Art of Hair online campaign, I didn't know I'd be overcoming so much beauty anxiety!
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When Runa and I were chosen to participate as models in the new Shu Uemura Art of Hair online campaign, I didn't know I'd be overcoming so much beauty anxiety!

Pia here. One of the perks of being a beauty writer is getting to try all these cool new products pretty much whenever I want. One of the coolest perks is getting your hair and makeup done for free by awesome stylists and being asked to do cool things like participate in social media campaigns with your face all over one of your favorite makeup brands' Facebook page… OMG I TOTALLY DID THAT!

It was so exciting, but a little unnerving because, well, I had to challenge myself by straying from my usual beauty look. I put my face and hair in the hands of others when I’m normally such a control freak when it comes to how my makeup and hair is styled. I had to take a deep breath and say to myself, “These people are professionals and definitely know what they’re doing better than I do.”

So basically, Shu Uemura asked dear sister and I to participate in a photo shoot to be part of a social media campaign featuring beauty influencers (WE WERE TOTALLY PSYCHED TO BE CALLED “INFLUENCERS”) after trying out some of their new glossy-themed products. We haven’t done stuff like this in a while--not since our magazine days--so we were stoked.

THE HAIR

When we got to the salon atop the fancy-shmancy Bergdorf Goodman building, where I had no idea a salon even existed, we were shown sample hairstyles that they were going to try on us. Little shivers went down my spine when I saw that my style was basically a half-updo. I ALWAYS wear my hair down because I think I have big ears that stick out, and I don’t want everyone calling me Dumbo.

As embarrassing as this fear was, I knew I had to say something or I’d be stuck with photos that made me cringe. I sheepishly told the awesome stylist that while I loved the style, I was really self-conscious about how I look with my hair up. He was more than willing to alter the style to make me feel more comfortable and look better.

I’m so glad I was honest about how I felt. So many times, I've just let people do what they want because I don’t want to inconvenience anyone. But it really is OK to speak up when people are playing with your hair; after all it is on YOUR head.

The result of this? A completely awesome half-updo, loose around the ears with a super-sleek and edgy twist that I never ever thought I could pull off.

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I even let him put product in my hair, which I never do because I have the urge to dunk my head in a vat of soapy water at the first spritz of anything but hairspray. To my surprise, the Shu Uemura Touch of Gloss Brilliant Melt-In Balm he used wasn’t actually waxy at all. It held my style and gave it a mirror shine without sticking. Vat of soapy water not needed.

I should note: I felt like so edgy, Runa had to ask me to tone down my new badass-chic personality several times on the way home.

THE MAKEUP

My makeup look was subtle and pretty, and I was so excited because I have been on the hunt for a good non-sticky gloss ever since I parted ways with my last tube of Too Faced Barely Legal, and I found it in Shu Uemura’s Gloss Unlimited in Orange. I know--orange? Me? Rarely. But it really brightened up my complexion and went so well with my strategically planned orange blouse and blue skirt with orange zipper lining.

I don’t usually go for glossy, and when they told me that was my shade I thought, “There’s a chance I might not like this,” but I guess the whole point of this was to experiment and bring myself out of my comfort zone, so I went with it, and now me and this little tube of magic are biffles.

This is my version of edgy, OK?

This is my version of edgy, OK?

THE PHOTO SHOOT

Boy, was this an experience. Ladies, I know we all like to think models have easy jobs but after this, even if I were a towering 5’10" with a bangin’ body, I would reconsider the career.

I was standing in front of the Dior flagship on Fifth Avenue during rush hour trying to take a picture of me casually walking down the block. After stepping back and forth like a glitchy robot 30 or 40 times, we got the shot, my feet and neck hurt, and I’m pretty sure I’m on about a hundred Asian tourist Instagram accounts. People thought we were shooting some sort of ad or reality show or something, and the stares were terrifying until I was able to tune it out.

Hey, scarf lady, this is MY shoot.

Hey, scarf lady, this is MY shoot.

Now I’m a master at the casual side–glance-while-walking stance and less afraid of people staring at me. Oh--and I’m also not afraid of wearing my hair up…a little. The pics came out hawt!

You can check me out on the Shu Uemura Art of Hair website to find out how to get my hairstyle; and on the Shu Uemura Facebook page, they even have a sweepstakes that you can enter to try and win my lip shade!

Runa's will go up in a few weeks. She got to wear her hair down. Lucky duck.

So here's what I learned, guys: It’s important to try things that you wouldn’t normally do--I’m talking beauty, that is. Always be honest with your stylist and don’t be afraid to tell them what you’re comfortable with. They’ll tailor a look to make you look and feel your best.

What do you think of the look? Are you going to enter the sweeps? (Sorry, I can't help you win, but I'll send good vibes.)