1) Eyes. As some of you know, I cut my long hair recently – here’s a photo my daughter took, I’m wearing the lippie/gloss combo below in #3. Something about that change has allowed me to feel comfortable wearing more makeup – specifically, strong lips and eyes at the same time. I’ve always followed the rule of one or the other (in terms of intensity) – strong lips, neutral eyes, or vice versa. Now, though, I’m working a smoky or multi-colored eye with bright lips and feeling like it looks fresh. What say you? BTW when I say “neutral” I don’t mean no eye makeup. At bare minimum I fill in my sparse brows, and put a Bobbi Brown cream shadow on my lids (applied with a brush) that renders my rabbit-pink eyelids a more aesthetically pleasing neutral color while skipping eye-primer. I use Suede or Slate, which is slightly grayer. Suede looks like hell in the pot, a warm, nasty yellow-brown, but both of these are a hint of soft, shadowy color on my lids. If I have another 30 seconds I do a Bobbi Brown gel liner along the top lashes, which stays until you remove it – I have plum, dark blue and slightly shimmery dark brown. I’ve experimented a little with other brands, but I think the BB has the nicest texture and the most longevity.
2) Related to the eyes – I’ve been experimenting with lining the inside of my lower lids, which looks great and I’ve never done before. I know, I know – we’re not supposed to do that with eye pencils because it’s dangerous unsanitary my arm will fall off – oh, wait, that’s my perfume that’s going to cause my arm to fall off. Somebody call IFRA!
Anyhow, I’ve been using a Laura Mercier in a dark purplish-black and the effect is gorgeous but it doesn’t stay. I have to check my eyes while I’m out to make sure it hasn’t smeared or run into the inside corner (ew), and it’s not like I’m using a ton of product. I’m trying to find a balance … what do I need? A harder pencil? Will that run less? Should I get something labeled kohl? Recommendations?
Makeup tip from Gina, a professional makeup artist and occasional commenter – I have greenish/hazel eyes. While I use brown or gray shadows for smoky eyes and to create some depth (I have deep set eyes, and a little round) she suggested trying a darkish purple (think eggplant.) I have a Cle de Peau shadow that is a very dark plum-purple, almost black, not quite matte, which I’d been using with a damp brush as a liner. As a shadow, placed on the outside half of my lid near the corner to give depth and lift, it’s a great color with greenish eyes and does not register as “purple.” Sorry, I can’t find the name, but I’m sure most makeup lines would have a similar color.
3) Lips! I’ve fallen in love with the NARS lip lacquer gloss pot in Hot Wired – a bright, slightly blue pink that is thick and stays on, the swatch here looks like the true color on my screen. It’s great over bare lips (this stuff is thick) but I’ve been experimenting with layering it over lippies, trying to up the intensity. BTW this is only for you who like a cool-toned pink, if you’re a warm red you might as well skip ahead. Anyhow, my regular pink lippies are nice underneath but don’t provide the pop I’m looking for, my pink lippie choices tend to be not so intense. Much as I love NARS Funny Face, that’s almost too much, and it’s very dry on me. So eventually I tried a red lippie I blogged on before – Dior’s Rouge Dior in Red Premiere, which is a bluish red. I tend to wear it dabbed lightly on my lips for a pop of color rather than as a full-on lipstick, because it’s very emollient and tends to travel, unlike, say, MAC Russian Red. So. Dabbing that on my lips gives a strong pink base that isn’t too dry. With an application of Hot Wired on top – shaZAM!!!!! It’s an amazing combo, that’s what I’m wearing in the photo. It’s not so neon-bright that I feel uncomfortable, but certainly brighter and glossier fuchsia than anything else I own. Anyone who’s got the Hot Wired and a blue-red lippie, you might want to give it a whirl.
4) Nails. Having whined in March’s Maxims about my difficulty getting a decent professional manicure (I know, I know! The horror!) I stumbled across a woman at a local salon who gave such a great mani I drove back out there to get her name. She gave me the oval tip I asked for, not the squoval or the Carmela Soprano, and she didn’t hack them off. Also, maybe my nails are snaggier than usual, but I almost always have to point out some rough edge they missed that needs to be re-filed before the polish. She did it perfectly the first time. My mani, which takes a lot of abuse in this kid-centric household, lasted a full week. I do wonder whether it’s just a really long-lasting polish (Sephora OPI in Run With It, a lovely, subtle dove-gray with a very slight shimmer that works better on cool skin tones.) But this gal took the polish brush and ran it along the edge of my nail tips as she painted, which I certainly can’t do. I’m guessing that helped.
Question: I’ve been sticking to my grayish neutrals and ugly greiges like Metro Chic on my long nails. How do you all feel about darker/brighter/classic red on longer nails? “Long” being a quarter-inch of tip, nothing too freaky. Are long, bright nails too garish or young-looking?
An observation: having seen a number of older, well-dressed women wearing very dark polish (like navy) on short nails this winter … wow. I work a navy or a purple or a dark green and I think it looks pretty, but on a woman in her 70s it’s fantastic. It’s chic in a way that I can only aspire to.
Throwing this open to any makeup items, discoveries, opinions, layering ideas, product raves, or anything else you’d like to discuss.
photo: Diva took it with her fancy new camera she saved up and bought herself. BTW that white stuff on me is snow.