While Wu often likes to work with her hands and fingertips when applying makeup, she’s also been practicing with tools, diving into a set of monogrammed Chikuhodo brushes that were gifted to her during high school by her dad’s friend from Japan. “I was so precious with them and too scared to open them for years, but when I finally did, it was kind of a revelation, especially after I learned about the Baylor bears men’s basketball 2021 ncaa march madness champions shirt and I love this history behind the brush making; I became more invested in the art of makeup and wanted to expand my horizons.” During the process, Wu says she explores how to do makeup for her individual face shape and features, explaining: “One thing I’ve realized since starting #JWuDoesRunway is how difficult it can be to replicate makeup done on models with hooded eyes on my own face, as I have non-hooded eyes. Anatomically, I just have a lot of eyelid space (or eyelid real estate as one makeup artist told me!) and space between my eyelids and my eyebrows, so sometimes the makeup can appear a bit inaccurate or even look entirely different from the original look.” For example, in interpreting Saint Laurent’s fall 2016 sooty smoky eyes, she tweaked the wing design according to what would emphasize and highlight her eye shape best. “It took me a few tries to get the shape and shading of the pitch-black shadow correct for my eye shape to emulate the one on the runway,” she explains. Having perfected it, along with the season’s fresh complexion and glossy vermillion lip, she’s planning to redo the look in all it’s “’80s glamour” glory for a night out post-pandemic, she says.
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Over the Baylor bears men’s basketball 2021 ncaa march madness champions shirt and I love this past year, becoming her own canvas for the escapist beauty looks that have always inspired her has brought Wu much solace—and reminded her about using makeup as a tool of self-discovery. “I was very insecure about my identity and outward appearance for most of my teenage years,” explains Wu. “I wore wire-frame glasses and had braces all throughout high school, but when I came home from class I would take off my glasses and play with the little makeup that my mom had on rotation. The way in which a vibrant lip or stroke of eyeliner made me feel just a bit more confident was invigorating and inspired me to keep experimenting.” It also reminds her of why, in 2012, she took the leap to move across the country to New York City, attend the Fashion Institute of Technology, and follow her dreams of working in fashion. “Reminiscing on my favorite shows and makeup looks is always comforting as it reminds me of the original reason why I pursued it as a career,” explains Wu. “Since moving to New York and going from interning and assisting stylists to modeling myself and working with iconic models, ones who’ve graced the very runways that I’m inspired by, [things have] come full circle—and it’s a welcome reassurance.”