Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween: A Dark Fairy Tale Look

This is the first of what I hope will be many Halloween looks I'll be posting, as the only thing I love more than cosmetics is October 31. I'd consider this a gothic fairtale princess sort of look; I think it would suit those hideous short skirted costumes that are everywhere in the Halloween stores these days. You could be any sort of Fairytale princess or character costume, and this look would work, especially if you're not the pink and glittery sort. For someone like Snow White, you'd probably want to go darker and more matte on the lips. Think of this as the anti-Disney princess makeup look.

MAC Paint Pot in Quite Natural, a chocolatey brown, on the lid as a base color; using a brown underneath the black gives a warmer undertone to the black shadows. This was blended out in the crease with MAC Eyeshadow in Folie, which is a reddish brown. Both were applied heavily underneath the eye, too.
MAC Typographic eyeshadow on the lid. I chose this color, not only because it was a blendable black eyeshadow, but because it wasn't the blackest I have. This was applied more heavily at the lash line and blended into the crease. Also, this was applied heavily underneath, and blended at the outer corner to crease a big circular eye shape.
Around the outside of the black, in the crease and underneath, Make Up For Ever 49, a reddish plum color, was blended into the edges.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Black on the upper lash line, upper and lower waterlines. The top was blended with Urban Decay Blackout from the 15 Year Anniversary Palette, and a small amount underneath.
Urban Decay Vanilla (from the same palette) highlighted the brow bone and inner corner.

Ardell Wispies lashes finished off the eyes.

Eyebrows were filled in with MAC Coquette, a grayish brown.

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in 115.
Make Up For Ever Full Cover concealer in No. 4.

Make Up For Ever HD Blush in No. 2--a bright raspberry red--as a base, high on the outside of the cheekbone, just under the outer corner of the eye.
The same No. 49 Eyeshadow was applied on top, blending down from the eye.
This was topped with Illamasqua Panic, a cherry red, then everything was blended forward towards the front plane of the face and backwards towards the hairline, but not down.
Contour was NYX Taupe blush.

A mixture of Tarte Lipsurgence Natural Lip Tints in Lust, red, and Moody, berry, were applied and blotted slightly, for a dark red tint.

Fall Nail Polishes

The usual suspects for fall nail polishes include the usual vampy creams, shimmery bronzes, browns, etc. This season, break out of the box and try one of these alternatives. They're still autumnal, will go beautifully with traditional and trendy fall clothes, and will have you staring at your nails for hours. Not that I did.

Chanel Peridot and Chanel Graphite

I stick these two together, partially because two Chanel polishes on my list was pretty cruel, and partially because I think they suit different skin tones. I don't like Peridot on me, though I think it's a beautiful nail polish anyway. It's a metallic gold with flashes of different shades of green; on me, a brassy gold dominates, and it doesn't look as nice as it does in the bottle. Graphite, however, does suit me, and it's a glittery steel color. Either polish (or both, if you're inclined) are perfectly on trend for the fall, and continue Chanel's reputation for trendsetting nail colors.

China Glaze Trendsetter

Speaking of trendsetting...terrible pun...China Glaze's sparkly mustard yellow green is a sincerely cool color. It might be one of my favorite polishes of all time. It's smooth, multi-colored without a lot of shine. I would probably wear this everyday if I didn't have so many nail polishes.

OPI It's My Year

Sort of the color version of Chanel Graphite, this glittery sheer (this is three coats) purple polish is full of microglitter in shades of green and gold. It strikes a balance between sophisticated and fun, and I think it would work if you're afraid of color or addicted to it.

Butter London God Save the Queen

If you like neutrals with a kick, but have grown tired of the variations on purple-greige polishes that have been around for a few years, God Save the Queen (formerly McQueen), is the answer you've been looking for. A relatively neutral light taupe, this nude polish kicks things up with holographic glitter.

Illamasqua Vice

If this are just too out there for you; Illamasqua Vice is a traditional fall color, but the finish of this deep raspberry polish is an unusual rubberized finish. No shiny top coat on this polish, though hand lotion etc. can ruin the finish.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Make Up Pet Peeves

Do you have anything that drives you crazy about makeup, beauty, or the way other people talk about it?

1. The term "holy grail" or HG. Drives me nuts. Maybe it's just because I was raised Catholic, but it offends me. It's just foundation (or lipstick, etc.), it's not that important. What's wrong with "favorite?".

2. Light lipgloss over darker lipstick. Excuse me while I shudder in disgust. It looks outdated and gross. I had a sales associate at MAC try that trick and it was so ugly I couldn't look at myself. I actually think gloss over lipstick looks really--okay I think most lipglosses, especially super shiny ones--look dated. There are plenty of super pigmented glosses if that's the look you want, and lots of lipsticks with enough emollients to give a dewy shine. And if you want to add gloss to an existing lipstick, try the lipgloss first and the lipstick over it, so pretty.

3. Everyone is "super pale.". Does this come from the idea that every caucasian has a tan, or wants one? So of you don't have a tan, you are automatically the palest person you know. There seems to be some paleness competition on certain message boards and the comments on certain blogs. "I'm NW5!" "I'm NW0!" "I have no pigmentation to my skin and am an alarming web of veins!" which leads to my pet peeve of people describing their skin tone using MAC foundation names, but that's for a different time. Now, I am on the fair side of things for sure; I burn easily and I often wear the lightest or second lightest foundation in a brand. And there are lots of people fairer than I am--Christina Hendricks and my beloved Cameron Mitchell (who's from Texas of all places). I am far from mandating that anyone get a tan (wait for number 4), but the paleness battle some people seem to get into makes me want a person who has albinism to shut them all up.

4. Bronzer. I don't get bronzer, and I hate it when brands/makeup artists/YouTube gurus insist it can be used as contour. No it can't. contour should usually be cool toned, since shadows are cool toned. And all those bronzers that aren't bronzers but highlighters/blushes/face powders should just be labeled as such. I guess bronzers are for people who tan their bodies, but not their faces. I get the purpose for pros on photoshoots who need to add a tanned look to someone who doesn't have one. But honestly, does every cosmetics line need five or six of them?

5. Over-highlighted brow bones. Anyone remember Britney Spears' video for "Oops I Did It Again" from more than a decade ago? All I remember is her white frosty eyeshadow all the way to her brows. It was hideous then and that hasn't changed. The under brow highlight is over used. For instance, if the lid is dark for a smoky eye, the brow ridge is automatically highlighted; it might look better if a muted taupe was used to blend out the shadow. Makeup artist Carmindy who has been in a rut for six seasons of What Not To Wear insists every woman needs highlight under the brow and the inner corner. I'm not a fan of the teary eyed look, either, which is always the result of shimmer placed around the tear duct, but I vehemently disagree with the reasoning that everyone needs anything, especially brow highlight. It can be useful for showing off the arch of the eyebrow or for people with heavy lids, but a lot of people would benefit from highlighting the lid rather than the brow bone.

End of rant. I promise to come back with some things I love (one word--blush) soon.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bronze and Gray Smoky Eyes

My beautiful sister let me do her makeup for a night on the town. I gave her a mix of warm and cool smoky shades. I have to say this is another one that looked better in person than in photographs, but I like it either way.

Mulch on the lid and underneath.
Scene in the outer corner.
Copperplate in the crease.
Urban Decay Ace (from 15 Year Anniversary Palette) on upper lash lines and outer third of lower lashes.
Clinique High Lengths Mascara in Black/Brown.

I don't remember what she had on her lips, if anything, and nothing on her face.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Purple Smoky Eyes

Dusky purple eyes using one of my favorite MAC eyeshadows. The full face shots wouldn't work out with this look, the sun was too glaring for outside shots, and the flash washes me out so much, since I'm pretty fair. I'll post what I used on the rest of the face, though.

On the lids, I used MAC's Shale, with Shadowy Lady in the outer corner into the outer crease. Shale under the eye with a little MUFE No. 4 close to the lashes. I used MUFE Aqua Black on the upper lashes, adding a tiny flick at the outer corner, then I blended the edge with No. 4 because I wanted a soft edge on the liner. I'm blanking on the details since this was a few weeks ago, but I think I used Shroom on the brow bone, and I definitely used a touch of MAC Big Bounce Shadow in Count Your Assets in the inner corner. I think I may have used MAC Omega in my brows. I really should have written this all down, or at least posted this sooner, but life has been incredibly hectic with the changes to my bedroom.

Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Porcelain on the red areas of my face. MUFE HD Microfinish powder to control shine, and I used either (or both) Laura Mercier Secret Camouflages in SC-1 and SC-2 on ugly things.
Blush was MAC Desert Rose.

Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Tint in Lust. I didn't love how this turned out, as it was a little bright for the look. I usually love red lips with purple eyes, but this didn't work. If I was doing this look over, and I might, since I loooved how the eyes turned out, I'd probably use a rosy, mauvy pink gloss like Urban Decay Pocket Rocket in David.

Sparkly Blue Nails

OPI Swimsuit...Nailed It with three coats of OPI Last Friday Night on top. So pretty, but it stained my nails something fierce when it came off.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Caramel All Over

It was all over the runways and magazines like Allure have jumped on the bandwagon, but one color all over the face is certainly hot for summer into autumn and winter. It makes sense, too, it's a look that manages to be sophisticated, edgy, casual, and easy all at once. There are a lot of colors that will work: corals and peaches, brown, plums, and, as I have done, caramel tones. You could use all over products, such as Stila Convertible Colors or NARS Multiples, but be wary of pink and red tones, as not only are they tricky on the eyes, but many red pigments can be irritating to them too. I chose to use separate products all in rich shades of caramel, partially because I love to use colors that are the same as my hair and I was heavily influenced by the Autumn/Winter Rodarte show which used the same sorts of shades. Another thing I love about this look is that it looks best without mascara, in fact, on the runway, they lightened the models' eyelashes and brows, and I take any opportunity to embrace the blonde. A brunette might want to try plummy colors for more drama. Unfortunately, this makeup would not photograph. Flash made the eyeshadow look orange, which it wasn't, and the sun was low enough in the sky when I tried to take photos with natural light, that my eyes watered and my skin looked so washed out in the bright sunlight. This photo doesn't do the look justice, so I apologize. There really aren't yellow patches on my cheeks and chin, I swear. I checked every other photo, and no other has this problem, but this was still the best picture of the look as a whole; I didn't want to alter the photo anymore than what I normally do for color correction.

LORAC ProtecTINT SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizer in Dare to Bare over the whole face
Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Porcelain as concealer.
MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder in NC15.

The warm brown shade from Dior Beige Massai Palette layered with Goldenrod by MAC to warm it up.
Then I brushed a mix of the shimmery gold and tan shades from the Stila Color wheel on the brow bone and onto the eyebrows and eyelashes to warm them up and lighten them even further than nature has.

Illamasqua Matte Cream Pigment in Hollow under the cheekbones and onto the cheeks.

Over a base of Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-2, I used a thin layer of MAC Satin Lipstick in Photo, a golden brown. This is the same lipstick used in my runway inspiration.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wine and Oranges

This look is one of my own. It's a mixture of wine red and orange on the lids, with strong brows, peach cheeks, and a neutral pink lip with a hint of mauve. Two close up pics today, since the natural light photo washed out the eyeshadow colors a bit. The wine color on the lids looks much more purple than it does in real life, and the flash photo is lacking the awesome reflection of the view outside the window.

Make Up For Ever Wine Red 49, a wine purply-red color, on the lid.
Make Up For Ever Pale Rust 103, a light browinish orange, in the crease and underneath.
MAC Handwritten, a chocolate brown, in the outer corner.
Under the brow and in the inner corner was MAC Shroom, a shimmery beige.
Stila Kajal in Tiger's Eye, a rich brown, on the inner rim and top lash line, which was smudged with Handwritten.
Dior Diorshow Unlimited in Chestnut on the lashes.
My brows were filled in with Make Up Forever Waterproof Brow corrector in 0 and 4.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-1
MAC Studio Fix Plus Powder in N4
Clinique Airbrush Concealer in 01 Fair
MAC Harmony blush to contour.
Illamasqua Lover--bright peach--on the cheekbones.

Lips were MAC Syrup, for a hint of pink.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


From thumb to pinky: OPI Turquoise Shatter, Red Shatter, Blue Shatter, Navy Shatter, White Shatter. All over Illamasqua Gamma.

Oh, Shatters, you may be the end of me yet.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Caught Biba Fever!

It's unlike me to copy someone else's work. I don't do celebrity looks, I don't usually replicate YouTube tutorials, but seeing UK makeup artist Lisa Eldridge use vintage Biba makeup to create a vintage look inspired me so much that I had to post a tribute to it.

It also proved a challenge rather than anything else finding modern cosmetics to duplicate vintage colors and textures that I had only seen on a tiny little screen on my iPod. Some products I already had, and, for the rest, I knew Make Up For Ever would provide.

Face: I used my basic primer, foundation, and concealer. Make Up For Ever HD Primer in 5 Blue, Face and Body in No. 38, and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-1 for blemishes, and MUFE Camouflage Cream Palette No. 2 under the eyes.

Eyes: For the base, replicating the China Doll Cheeks in Lavendar, I used MAC Big Bounce shadow in Count Your Assets, a silvery purple. It was slightly darker than the Biba original, but it replicated the silver sheen. I was also pretty proud to have found a use for the badly reviewed Big Bounce shadow--I can't say my opinion was any better.

Powder shadows: The Dark Jade powder tint was duplicated by MUFE Iridescent Green 53 in the crease. Under the eye, I used two shades from the Stila Color Wheel. I had wanted to avoid using anything limited edition and a palette, but I had no Bright Lilac shades with enough blue in them, so the Violet shade (the second one in at 7:00) had to do. The outer corner was a mixture of Stila Poppy and Periwinkle from the Color Wheel (second one in at 6:00), only because Poppy on it's own wasn't right. The outer corner blending was done with MUFE Celadon 34. I applied Ardell Wispies Lashes to the top and Ardell Duralash flares in medium and short to the lower outer corners.

Cheeks: The Big Bounce shadow was applied just as Ms. Eldridge applied the Lavendar china doll cheeks to highlight the cheekbones, and MUFE Aqua Cream in 7 Fuschia doubled for the pink China Doll cheeks. The bright pink "Moods" contouring and blushing kit was replaced with MUFE Dark Raspberry 58, and the highlight was Stila Moonlight.

I blended everything with NARS Heart of Glass, a pale shimmery blue.

For the lips, I used NYX lipliner pencil in Plum, even though I'm terrible at drawing bow lips on myself as it only highlights that my lips are not symmetrical.

I'm nowhere near the artist that Lisa Eldridge is, and copying her work only makes that all the more clear to me. However, it was a fun challenge to replicate her amazing vintage makeup with modern day equivalents, and I hope that if you found it as inspiring as I did, that it helps you recreate it yourself.