Random Sunday: Makeup Ideas

When I did the nude makeup post, Carter made a suggestion for a particular look (I think it was a combo of an eyeshadow, eyeliner and lipstick?) that sounded lovely.  I said I’d like to do a post where people could submit their favorite makeup looks, and … here it is.  You’re invited to submit in comments one of your favorite “looks” – whether it’s built around a particular feature, like a smoky eye, or highlights a much-beloved product is up to you.

For the purposes of commenting, we’ll assume the basic prep (e.g., sunscreen, foundation) has been done, unless you want to pimp a particular foundation or tinted moisturizer – in which case, go right ahead!  This is the time of year when lots of folks — including our male readers — are looking for sunscreen suggestions.

Also please add information about your skin tone/eye coloring etc., if you think it would be relevant to readers.

Have fun!  I won’t be replying to comments, but I’ll be reading them, looking for ideas …

* * *

Okay, here’s mine:  March’s Five-Minute, Ten-Hour face, built around my new toy – the nude lip.   I’m pale with hazel eyes.

On eyelids: Bobbi Brown cream shadow in Slate (a matte greige), applied with a brush.  It hides my pinkish lids and makes my eyes stand out, but it’s still neutral and subtle.

Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in Black Plum (my BB gels do not budge) and/or, if I’m feeling the heightened drama, more penciling at the lashline with MAC Powerpoint pencil in Permaplum.

Mascara: Blinc (a tubular mascara that does not flake or irritate my eyes)

Cheeks:  MAC Strada, the perfect neutral cheek powder, with a very light touch of pink on the apples, not too far forward (NARS Penny Lane cream or Sephora Rose Rebelle 1 matte powder.)

Nude lip:  NARS Chelsea Girls (lip lacquer) – OR — Shu Uemura lipstick in 318M (“matte neutral pink, warm undertone”) which is as nude and matte as I can go while avoiding the brown-lips-of-death look (note the WARM undertone.  No beige here!)  If the Shu’s too extreme you can gloss it.  They have some great nudie colors and I think the clear tube is fun, link to their lipstick here.

A pinky-sized dab of MAC Shroom, a very pale moonlight shimmer, on the inner eyes next to the tear ducts, and above my lips on my cupid’s bow.

  • Carla says:

    I used to dab Shroom! by MAC on my inner eyes too! You’ve inspired me to recommence. Lately I have to coordinate makeup, outfit and perfume. A general pattern seems to be to emphasize lips with florals, eyes with chypres. I should remind my husband that if I seem to be spacing out I am probably planning tomorrow’s tripartite look (slash smell).

    • March says:

      Now that’s an interesting way to think through your makeup! And I got the Shroom recommendation off here in the first place, so I have all of you to thank.

  • BBJ says:

    I know this is the end of an old thread, but I’ll post anyway–for you makeup maven who have tons of stuff, what are your thoughts about this stuff they always run in womens’ magazine about how you need to throw away your lipstick every six months, and your eyeshadow every three and so on?

    If I buy something pricey-ish and special occasion, I may never actually get through it, and I sure don’t want to toss it within a few months. I have never yet gotten the Oozing Eye Ick from an old eyeshadow palette.

    What do people think/do? I’m always in a quandary over this, especially as I start to experiment with more expensive brands.

    • March says:

      I say it’s b.s. 🙂 You can make an argument for, say, mascara contamination with pinkeye, but most of that stuff? I’d say if it starts to smell funny (and some of my lippies do) or change in texture (cream shadows, lippies) it’s time to pitch it. That whole six-month thing is designed to get you out to repurchase. Seriously … is your face falling off? These are the same people who would no doubt tell me to pitch my vintage perfumes, right? I mean, God only knows what’s in those things. [-(

  • Disteza says:

    I’ll be the heretic and proudly avow my non-use of foundation! 😮
    I’m 31, very pale with some freckles, dark brown hair and variably colored eyes (seems I’ve got a bit o’all the colors of the eye rainbow). I finally got so tired of trying to find people to custom-blend me a foundation that was pale enough that I quit wearing the stuff altogether. I mostly only wear sunscreen and moisturizer, but my favorite ‘look’ entails the use of DHC’s Velvet cover-up (fills in lines and pore sso well!), a tiny bit of black Covergirl eye crayon in the lash lines top and bottom, some Blinc on the lashes, Chanel on the lips (some clear balm mixed with Byzantine for a strawberry color and lined with Tulipe), and some Urban Decay eyeshadow in ‘X’, a gold w/ sheer peach tint. It’s fresh-looking and easy to do.

    • carter says:

      Try some of the Japanese brands — you can often find pale shades of foundation through them. Or MUFE, which does custom blending and makes excellent foundations.

      • Disteza says:

        My problem with the Japanese brands I’ve tried is that they all put too much yellow in the base. The last place I was getting my foundation had to put a smidge of bluish-lavendar tone in it to make it be about right–shades of Edward Scissorhands, I know. I’m the kind of pale where you can see the veins on my face, neck, and décolletage if I do nothing; to phrase it another way, I use the MAC 20 powder as blush/bronzer!

        • March says:

          I’m going to Scissorhands right back at you. You’re 31 and your skin sounds GORGEOUS. (INSERT SUNSCREEN LECTURE HERE.) Why would you even want foundation? Work those freckles! Enjoy that porcelain skin!

          I’m trying to remember … I did a foundation post, let me go look for the link. I think the whitest of the white had some recommendations, if you’re determined to find something. And have you tried the palest MUFE? In their original Face and Body makeup? Pink Porcelain is pretty darn light, and def. not yellow. Not a good fit if you have oily skin, though. And I thought the palest of the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizers was pretty pale. :)>-

  • DinaC says:

    My coloring is pale skin with a yellow undertone, bright blue-green eyes, and dark brown hair.

    After a layer of Neutrogena 55 sunscreen, I use Smashbox photofinish primer. Then I apply foundation with my fingers. I use either Laura Mercier creme silk in Ivory Creme or Bobbi Brown moisturizing foundation in Alabaster. Then BB pot rogue in pale pink on the apples of my cheeks (again with my fingers). For my eyes, I apply a base coat of either BB cream eyeshadow in Cement (grey) if I’m going with a grey palette, or Laura Mercier’s eye basics in Wheat (golden beige) if I’m going with a brown palette for the day. For the greys, I use BB heather mauve shimmer e/s in the crease. For the browns, I use LM Fresco or Antique Gold e/s in the crease. Either way, I use BB gel eyeliner in Indigo Ink (navy blue) with a fine liner brush on the top lid, and I also tightline under the top lashes with it. Then, I finish off with Lancome Definicils mascara in black and a lip gloss. Lately I’ve been using a BB sample that is a mlbb shade: pink buff.

    Sometimes I fiddle around with additional concealers under my eyes, but I find it doesn’t make much of a difference. So, I won’t add that stuff here.

  • mary says:

    PS– I just wanted to add– my moisturizer is the best I have ever used. It is an all natural one– Sea Chi, it is called, and I get it from the Isabella catalog, or Rainbow Grocery in SF on my once or twice a year visits to what was once my favorite grocery store. Not cheap, but not so very pricey either, considering how healing and good smelling it is. It’s the best. (%)

  • mary says:

    I am closing in on 51, with brown, graying highlighted hair, hazel eyes, and a wrinkly, dutifully Retin-A’d, but nonetheless sagging visage–some mornings, I look up into my bathroom mirror and stagger backwards, because lord have mercy if it isn’t Madeline Albright right there in my bathroom. Anyway, to try to look professional and like I half– way give a durn, after my old lady moisturizer sinks in, I swirl, tap and buff that Bare Minerals Medium Beige all over my face, until all the red blotches and mysterious little acne scars are somewhat less noticeable. Then, I brush on the “Bare Skin” shade eyeshadow across my lids, and wonder how noticeable that little skin tag is to other folks. Use a coffee bean colored powder liner. Vanilla somethng under the brow line for when I am stylin’ fancy. Swirl tap and buff some Warmth all around, under cheekbones, around jaw line;and then some Golden Gate onto the apples of the cheeks. S, T and B that Mineral Veil, and oh yeah, this is what I used to look like. Then usually a Primitives lipstick–Corsica for days I wear brown, Tahiti for blue or rose colored shirts or sweaters. And I also popped for the tube mascara in the local beauty store. Freaks me out to see all the little tubes when I wash it off at night–rather frightening the first time. Used to use this lovely french stuff which smelled like roses, but they no longer carry it. Experimented last week with nude lip colors– used up the tiny little sample of Serge Lutens Compliment Beige, which was the best. Keep trying a Sally Hansen Beigey frosty one my tween girl chose– she has a good eye, that girl, but I really need to step up my grooming game to carry off the nude lipstick look. I find myself putting something mlbb-colred on before lunch time. Love the post– thanks for the inspiration. ^:)^

  • Madea says:

    I’m 22 (today!) and work in my campus library from 10.00 pm to 2.00 am during the year. My hair is henna’d bright red and I have grey eyes and super pale skin.

    I usually just do eyeshadow in a brown or greenish gold and a thick coat of mascara, followed by a brick red matte lipstick and a spray of perfume.

    I have Fibromyalgia, and bad flares require the use of a wheelchair. When I know I’m going to need the chair, I apply a more flamboyant color (think bright pink, purple or silver) eyeshadow and finish it with a thin line of liquid eyeliner. Looking nice makes me feel better, and helps people not feel awkward when they approach me for help 🙂

    • Ms. Christian says:

      Happy birthday Madea and may I say what a cool attitude you have! I have fibromyalgia, too, and you inspired the beejeezus outta me.


    • Louise says:

      Oh, so sorry about the fibro-I have a less severe form-and totally get wearing brighter colors/makeup on bad days. You’re brave, woman!

    • carter says:

      I have a friend who is an MD in Los Angeles who works with obese patients, many of whom present with fibro. The first thing he does is a blood test for Vitamin D, and he finds that the vast majority have serious deficits. He puts them on a high-dose regimen and has been astonished at the response. Many patients’ symptoms are eliminated completely, and nearly all of them experience a dramatic reduction in pain.

  • Musette says:

    Great gravy! I have NO idea what I do – well, I guess I do but …

    okay – here’s what I ‘think’ I do everyday. Me: Olive/yellowish-brown skin, varicolored darkish hair, older than dirt.

    Wash with African Black Soap (I have those cloggy pores and ABS just gets rids of all that stuff).

    I absolutely LOVE (did I say 😡 ) this cheap face cream, Walgreen’s Alpha Hydroxy. Love that stuff. Slather it on the face, cover with Kiehl’s pore minimizer (or Olay – same stuff for about 1/2 the price), then I either sponge on Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer (tan) or Prescriptives Virtual Skin in Antelope (I have stockpiiled the remainder of Virt Skin and Virt Matte available on the planet)

    I’ve got to put on some eyebrows or my whole face just vanishes – Prescriptives (again, a stockpile for the end of days), a quick swipe with Hourglass calligraphy on the upper lid and I usually just dust it down with a bit of MUFE HD transluscent.

    Lips: Rimmel coffee bean liner, just to even out the lipline and a Bobbi Brown or Prescriptives taupey-pink (I have about 230 versions of it). YLLB.

    Sunscreen? You betcha. LaRoche-Posay Anthelios.


    xoxo >-)

  • Wordbird says:

    Pants – forgot to say lippy is L’Oreal’s 708 – browny nude, Guerlain’s Kiss Kiss Beige Groove 555 which is a pale shimmery coralish, or Dior’s Addict high shine 222 which is a shiny, slightly sparkly pale pinky brown. All pretty much pale-ish ‘your lips but better’ type of things.

  • Wordbird says:

    I’m in my mid-40s with blue eyes, yellow-undertoned skin and Orangutang-coloured hair. For sunscreen that doesn’t either give me spots or make me even more greasy, I use the tiny bottle of Clarins UV Plus factor 40 and find it very good.
    Sadly, I’m one of those women that wanders around all day in an anorak and jeans and boots and I feel uncomfortable with too finished a look – I save that for Big Nights Out (twice a year, then!). So I never wear foundation and rarely wear concealer or blush. As summer approaches and my skin is looking a bit less pasty, I’ve been trying out a tiny bit of bronzer (Bourgeois because their bronzers are matte) across cheekbones, forehead, nose and chin. It does make me look a bit less sickly. 🙂
    Eyes are usually from Bobbi Brown’s neutral palette; any of the mid-toned shadows on eyelids and into the crease, with Mahogany from the same palette used as a powder liner along the outer 2/3 of the upper and lower lash lines with a tiny bit of a cats eye flick. Chanel Inimitable or Max Factor mascara.

    I’ve been experimenting with a quick swoop along the water line of Astor’s electric blue or lilac kohl – I find it brightens my blue eyes. I’m thinking that this summer I might pare back even more to just a bit of bronzer, blue kohl and mascara.

  • janh says:

    E.I. mattifier, powder, mac plush mascara, undereye concealer by usl.

  • carter says:

    Okay, I’ll do my 5-minute deal, which takes 15 minutes. This is the face I throw on just to run around town during the day, the basics. I am pale with blue/blonde. I have neutral skin — both yellow and pink undertones — so I can wear either cool or warm colors, as long as they don’t veer too wildly in either direction.

    Before I do anything, I apply a clear lip plumper to my lips to get it working. Then I apply my new favorite product for summer, Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth (ha!) Skin Tint, which I really like because it provides more coverage that most tinted moisturizers and you can layer it where you need it. Also, it is very moisturizing, and it has those light-reflecting dealies, but not too much. If I want a regular, more matte foundation I use Vincent Longo Water Canvas. Again, sheer but buildable.

    Then, just using my fingertip, I smear some MUFE Lift Concealer on the back of my hand to warm it up and thin it and I tap that on under my eyes and on my lovely purpley-pink eyelids as a base. I apply NARS cream blush in Penny Lane and then dust the whole affair with Shiseido powder.

    Next, I do my eyebrows with an Armani pencil. I dust my entire eyelid with Cream from my NARS Madrague Duo, and then apply the other color, Caramel just to the lids. I line my upper lid with a dark brown drugstore pencil very close to and between the lashes and smudge it to blend a bit. I take an angled brush and apply a medium brown powder shadow (cooler and darker than the Caramel, but lighter than the pencil) to line my lower lid. Finally, Diorshow Black Out mascara, two light coats.

    For extra oomph I will sometimes use just a very light pop of Chanel Joues Contraste powder blush in Rose Bronze, and, last but not least, I apply a lippie over the plumper, which acts as a medium to sheer it out so that I can just use my fingertip to apply it keep it light and quick. These days my go-to shades are Dolce & Gabbana Dahlia (love ya, March) or Chanel Fatale (mwah, Melissa), both of which are strong, cool, dark-pinkish reds, which provide a much needed addition of color my face because everything else is quite neutral and sort of your-face-but-better. I’d love to do the naked lip look with a neutral face but I am sure the buzzards would start circling8-x and it might scare away the squirrels:(|). Pretend that’s a squirrel.

    • carter says:

      Oh yeah, and I also do that business that March does inside the eye next to the nose and at the arch of my eyebrows with a very light, somewhat shimmery powder. Three that I like are Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash in Bone (warm off-white), NARS Abyssinia (pale warm pink), or MAC Vapour (pale pink)@};-

    • Ms. Christian says:

      Carter-what lip plumper do you use? I was a LipFusion aficionada for a long time, but gradually phased it out.

      • carter says:

        I’m using Sovage at the moment, but I’ve used a number of brands, including LF, and they’ve all been basically the same. The Sovage is good, though.

  • Ms. Christian says:

    Even when I disagree with your perfume and makeup faves, I just adore you, March.

    I’m very, very pale, oily skin-esp. the T zone, no lines/wrinkles, pale blue grey eyes, ash blonde hair with high and low lights. With my coloring, the nude look would make me look like a 2 days dead, bloodless corpse.

    I have a long commute and have less than an hour every morning to feed cats and birds, shower, drink tea, tame the wild curly hair, make up, dress, pack briefcase and walk/run to public transit.

    My every day face (I’m a manager/executive in a conservative industry) is Armani Face Fabric in #1, MAC Fling brow pencil,
    NYX Angel blush (sometimes I use Chanel Orchid Rose) on cheeks/hollows, bridge of nose, forehead, a touch of Lauren Hutton concealer (from her Pink palette) at inner and outer corners of eyes, usually a thin line of a vivid coloured eye pencil on upper lid (I love the Rimmel Kohl Kajals and use Jungle Green a lot), curl lashes, 1 coat of black Maybelline Full N’ Soft mascara upper and lower lashes and then a coat of Prestige Biggest Lashes on top lashes only, Chantecaille Shine Perle shadow as highlighter, usually NYX Beanie in the crease.

    I wear a lot of black so for lips it’s usually MAC Laugh a Lot or Lorac Multiplex gloss in Cliche. I keep a lot of E.L.F. glosses in my bag-cheap and good punches of color. If I lose one, it’s no loss.

    No powder. I use Clean and Clear blotters for shine. I’m over 40, and I find that even the lightest powder can make me look elderly.

    Although I have a very large train case and 3 drawers full of high end stuff, this is what I reach for most mornings. Evenings out-when I can take 3 hours for a relaxed toilette-are a whole different ball game.

  • Catherine says:

    I’m packing for a vacation to Savannah, so I have certainly been thinking of my favorite look as I figure out what to bring. As always, red lips are important, with everything subdued around it. I am very pale (Mac N1 in some foundation, Armani LSF #2) with hazel eyes.

    I prep the eye with BB cream shadow in Navejo OR Trish McEvoy’s Demure primer. Then I put Chanel single eyeshadow Ivory everywhere, Chanel single in Sillage on the lid, and a touch of either Chanel single Khaki or Ed Bess Mystery in the crease. I line with Chantecaille’s liquid liner in the bronzey color. Trish McEvoy’s mascara last–my HQ mascara than never smudges, gosh darn, I love it so.

    Blush in Chanel Tempting Beige (oh la la LA) tapped on lightly, then a bit of Chanel Empreinte de Chanel (the shimmery gold/bronze powder from the 2010 spring collection) over that and on the temples.

    Last, lips! 1) Chanel lipliner in Natural + Chanel Allure Attitude. 2) Chanel lip liner in Rouge + Chanel Coco Rouge in Vendome–or Gabrielle if I want to be brighter.

    So that’s what’s in my makeup bag for the coming week, plus a few other red/berry lipsticks. A gal needs options.

    • carter says:

      I have GOT to go check out those Chanel Coco Rouge lippies. I just hate shopping so much, particularly for make-up, so I keep hoping that they will simply magically appear on my dressing table so that I can play with them without having to leave home or that KarlaSugar will figure out a way to swatch them ON MY FACE. Hey, it could happen:o)

      • Catherine says:

        Want a partner in crime??? Would that help? I’m coming to NYC in August and would love a reason to linger in BG. !:d

        • carter says:

          If I am still a) in town, and b) not on crutches come August, I would love to see you. I’ll even shop. But I’m still holding out hope that Karla Sugar will come through[-o<

  • Louise says:

    Well, good Sunday to you, M. March:x

    Given that I have several whaleloads of makeup, picking a fav is a bit difficult. But-I a partial to Lorac’s tinted moisturizer (over Sunscreammm-either a spendy My Blend, or the Blue Lizard you introduced me too (and gifted me with : ) I also use MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Light Medium.

    Then-an old MAC palette in Spiced Chocolates-or really any bronzy, but not red eye shades. These seem to push my hazel peepers into green range. Line the top with MAC photogravure, and the bottom with a bronzy liner. Cheeks go peachy, no shimmer, and MLBB shade-often Saint Natural, or Guerlain Beige Sensuelle.

    Then there’s the plummy look, and the Big Greens, and the ghoulish smokey eye…:d/