Random Sunday: Beauty Books

mercierAt the suggestion of Gina, who lurks on here (hi, Gina!) and is a makeup artist, I bought a copy of Laura Mercier’s makeup book, The New Beauty Secrets.   Paraphrasing, Gina said she uses a lot of the same approach and techniques as those in the book.

I find beauty and makeup books interesting.  I am no makeup pro, more of an enthusiastic dabbler.  The New Beauty Secrets seems geared to someone like me.  It covers “the basics” without being too basic.   It also features a number of natural, flattering looks that are age appropriate for me and other women no longer in their twenties — looks that seem increasingly hard to find in popular fashion magazines, in my opinion.  At the same time, Mercier’s no killjoy.  She invites you to have fun with your makeup and suggests different things to try if you find yourself in a makeup rut.

One of the things I like best about the book is it features full-page photos of celebrities and supermodels, their faces made up by Mercier.  As far as I’m concerned, there can never be too many pictures of Linda Evangelista.  Furthermore, many of these women are my age or older.  Granted, I’ll never look like Christy Turlington or Isabella Rossellini, but it’s nice to see their faces and not a 17-year-old model staring back at me.  And the book is worth it just for the photo of Ellen Barkin.

bobbi brown beauty bookThe first beauty book I ever bought was Bobbi Brown Beauty.  For some of you youngsters, Brown’s approach may seem kind of old-school.  But for me, 10+ years ago or thereabouts, Brown was groundbreaking.   She offered a palette that was designed to enhance in a “natural” way (yes, I’m aware of the irony.)  Her lipsticks were lip-colored.  The finished Bobbi face was very much her signature, and I welcomed it at the time like water in the neon-blue-eyeshadow desert.

Bobbi Brown Beauty was the first book that allowed me to glimpse the way a makeup artist works — wielding foundation, blush and other tools the way any other artist uses pastels or other art materials, this time in the service of beauty.  Brown’s book is lengthier, with more text and more detail than Mercier’s, and it’s fun to compare where their opinions and technique overlap and where they differ.

Bobbi Brown’s clearly reaching out to a younger audience; she now has a range of colors the line eschewed a decade ago.   And now there are plenty of choices — some might argue better choices — for that ultra-“natural” look.  Further, there are things about Brown’s line that never quite add up for/on me.   I am fair and pink, and while I appreciate Brown’s yellow-based-makeup philosophy, a few of her products — as applied by Bobbi SAs — look sallow on me.  Also, like MAC gals, the gals at Bobbi are often wearing too much makeup.  Maybe that’s a hazard of working in makeup; you feel like you’re repping your product better that way?   But every time I see a beautiful girl in her 20s with her skin buried under a thick layer of foundation and powder, I fight the urge to reach for a MAC wipe and take that mess off.

Back to Mercier – she has some great hand-drawn diagrams I found incredibly useful.  For instance, a section on eye makeup that shows how to compensate for various eye placements (deep set, close set, downward tilt, etc.)    Like Bobbi Brown she’s all about the skin prep — cleansing, primer, correct powdering technique.  Sometimes I wonder whether this attention to seven-layered facial finish is better geared to photo shoots than daily life.  On the other hand, her technical details are news to me.  I’m going to try her finishing powder application advice, which involves a velour puff rather than a brush, since I feel like I always end up looking over-powdered.  And who can resist a woman who prescribes hot baths as a way of soothing yourself?  Not me.

You can find Mercier’s book in various places, including her website, for I think $35.  Or you can do what I did and get it from abebooks.com, the holy grail of used book-dom, for $13ish, depending.  It’s a hardcover, coffee-table type book with gorgeous illustrations, as I mentioned.  Bobbi Brown Beauty is a more utilitarian paperback, although it’s also full of photographs and illustrations of technique, and is probably dirt cheap on abebooks.

So.  Opening this up — does anyone else have any recommendations for cosmetic or beauty books they find particularly interesting, useful, or delightful as eye candy?  What do you think of Bobbi and/or Laura Mercier?  Do you find the concept of “natural” looking makeup (I’m talking about appearance, not natural ingredients) ridiculous?  Are there trends you feel should only be for the young?  Looks that nobody should wear?

  • gina says:

    Hi March!!! So glad you liked the Mercier book. I’m not a huge fan of the Bobbi Brown book, but I understand why it would be a good first book to check out. I do love Kevin Aucoin’s books, but they’re not really for everyone – he does hardcore contouring, can be a little daunting and drag-queen-y.

    Just for fun, and if you can find it for a reasonable price, Serge Lutens has an amazing makeup book – nothing natural or set in any sort of reality, but gorgeous to behold all the same.

    • March says:

      Drag queeny! That’s the look I’m going for! 🙂 Okay, mebbe not. But I bet the photos are fun.

      I’ll have to look for that Serge Lutens book. Yes, they are just fun to look at.

  • elizablue says:

    Aucoin is the one I wanted to mention and I am so glad others did mention him–he did a lot of “revolutionary” things with makeup–remember the Naomi lip? And those amazing photos transforming actresses into other icons–really something. He is also the one who got us looking at our brows–lol!
    Also, I believe it’s Serge Lutens for Shiseido is a true artist–not very wearable in daily life unless you work for cirque du soleil lol! And yes, in college I worked behind a makeup counter and I was the one who was always reprimanded for not wearing enough slap–the logic must be the more different products you wear, the more you can convince others they cannot possibly live without! I would reluctantly doll up and end up looking years older…

    • March says:

      Okay, that’s it, I’m getting the Aucoin book. And I think those Shiseido photos are gorgeous, if somewhat circus-y. And you’ve confirmed for me that the SAs are being bullied into more face!

  • carter says:

    I have Bobbi’s book and took a few very good things from it but overall her techniques don’t really wow me. I have never tried the puff thing for powder, and I do think that her use of powder to “set” everything, especially concealer, is right on. Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder is a fantastic product that is perfect for under the eyes. But I’m going to check out Aucoin and Mercier’s books for sure.

    I have fair skin with pink undertones, blue/gray eyes, and natural ash blonde hair which I have high and low-lighted. At age 53, I keep my makeup very, very simple-looking — simple-looking, but not all that simple in fact. I wear neutral, ylbb eyeshadows, eyeliners, and a very natural cream blush. My foundation is a sheer natural water-based one (by Vincent Longo) and I use it primarily to even out the pink tones — I use one in a very yellow shade to correct, and then a light second application with a color that matches my skin perfectly. I use a rose-colored power blush on the apples of my cheeks just for a slight pop of color.

    I am a stickler for brows. Mine aren’t great, and they are blonde, and I really think that good brows make an enormous difference. I am very curious about the shu umera eye pencil because it gets such raves, so that’s on my shopping list.

    The other thing that I have learned is that black is the best mascara color for me. Bobbi Brown also says this, while you will find many MU artists saying that blondes should use brown mascara. Not true!

    The other thing I don’t believe is that red lips are aging. I think that it’s just a matter of finding the right red — which is quite difficult and I’m still searching for the perfect one — but I do have a few reds that just wake up my face the second I put them on. I always go matt, and either sheer it out or use a bit of gloss on the bottom lip when I go whole hog with the color. I never wear any other color lip than red — it’s red or nothing at all.

    • March says:

      Yes, that’s the joke of the “natural” – simple looking often isn’t really that simple, is it? And before I forget — I’ve seen your photo on fb and cannot believe you are 53?!?! I’d have guessed much younger.

      Which two Vincent Longos do you use? It sounds like we have some of the same coloring issues … do you use any primer? Do you have a favorite setting powder? Laura Mercier? MUFE Hi Def?

      The brows are crucial. They’re so defining to the eye, I think a lot of women skip this. I have dark brown brows but they’re sparse and my face looks a lot better if I spend 60 seconds defining them with powder. In fact, if I had to cut my prep to two things, it would be eyebrows and lips.

      • carter says:

        Yep…the eyebrows and lips have it! And the funny thing is that they are my two least attractive features, but if they’re good it’s all good.

        Thanks for the compliment about my age — that you can’t see the neck and the jowels in that photo and is no accident 😉 But what’s funny is that after I wrote that I asked the DH how old I was because suddenly I felt unsure about it and he says I’m 54! Yikes!

        I use the Longo Water Canvas which I apply with the sponge it comes with and then go over with a foundation brush. I just went to the Sephora site to see what shades and it looks like it’s being discontinued! They only have 3 shades available and they’re on sale for $16 instead of $50-something. Sigh. But the two I use would be the lightest yellow — soft amber, I believe — and probably porcelain or ivory. Not beige.

        I was using Paul & Joe primer because it is very yellow and got great reviews on Makeup Alley, but lately I’ve just been putting the foundation on without it and don’t see much of a difference. Patty has gotten me fairly obsessed with the idea of the SL primer and compact foundation, which I wanted to try because my skin is dry and it’s the one thing that the VL Water Canvas is not great for, but at the same time it is similarly light and sheer like the VL. So I’m going to have to get off of my butt and go to Barney’s which I hate with a passion.

        The powder I use at the moment is a compact powder from Shiseido that has three colors in the pan and when you swipe the brush over it they blend together. It’s fine — no complaints and I think I probably got it because of good reviews on MUA, but I’m sure there’s something better out there. I do love the LM SBP, though!

        The blush I use is a cream blush called Penny Lane from NARS which I think is probably quite similar to MAC Strada in the neutrality department, but I’m very interested in trying out the Strada as well. I do a color pop with Chanel Rose Bronze.

        The red lipstick fixation is out of control! Right now my favorite is NARS Red Lizard, with Chanel Shanghai red bringing up the rear. But I think the Chanel may be too dark. I’ve ordered Dior Red Premiere from NM (free shipping, no minimums, girls!) and am beside myself waiting for it to arrive, along with the Shu eyebrow pencil referenced above. Loved your post that called my attention to the Dior — one of my faves of yours 🙂 Any and all discussions of red lipstick draw me like a bee to honey.

        • carter says:

          The other VL Water Canvas shade I use is Bisque.

        • carter says:

          Or Porcelain…I the pan for it in the separate compact that you have to buy (aaaargh!) and I can’t see the label on the back.

        • carter says:

          Which liner do you use with the Dior? With the NARS Jungle Red?

        • March says:

          Thanks for the tips! Yeah, Sephora got rid of Vincent Longo, I think they said VL was going bankrupt? Maybe not. Anyhow I should check those out. I like the idea of balancing out the pink and then covering it, thanks for the brands and instructions.

          I love Penny Lane! One of the very few NARS blushes I like (mostly too dark or too glittery). MAC Strada is more neutral.

          I’m trying to think… I have a couple liners. With Jungle Red I think I use MAC Brick, with the Dior I have some cheap (Revlon?) basic red. I just put it on top lightly to tidy up the edges, and I feel like if I’m in the ballpark color-wise we’re good since I have a light hand with them (I don’t have much in the way of bleed issues), no brown liner, you know? The REvlon is surprisingly decent, I think it’s just Revlon red.

          I keep trying the reverse invisible liner but I end up smearing the edges, it doesn’t work well for me. Or my technique needs improving.

          • carter says:

            No, it’s not your technique — they probably do something, but not much that I can detect. I use powder/MUF concealer where there’s danger of bleeding and it works just as well but always with a red liner — just can’t do red without a red liner.

  • MJ says:

    I was very into BB when she was first out and hot (I was 20 ish and liked a more minimal look – grew up with a mom who favored hot orange lipstick).

    Then I went to law school, into a firm, was worked to death and lost interest. Started using Loreal foundation (which matches my color as well as Prescriptives – which I stopped buying after they sold me something mis-labled that was 3 shades too dark).

    My remaining BB lipsticks smell awful (maybe they turned rancid since 1997 – ya think?) but the eyeshadow pots are still fine and I use those. Though I am getting VERY bored with my eyeshadows (everything I own is neutral!).

    I also find Paula B to be a downer, and so bossy! It just happens that the very best makeup look I can do (for light/medium yellowish me, with blue eyes) is purple liner or accent. Brown, peach and black are blah but the littlest touch of purple/eggplant is awesome on me. I’m fairly sure that no one recommends that…

    And I am in a huge lipstick rut. My coloring makes YLBB look too light (lighter than my skin and lips), but RED red is too red.. MAC Dubonnet seems to be the only clear winner for me.

    Does Carol Shaw/Lorac still make those celeb-named lipsticks? I had Demi and Lauren back in the day and they were GREAT shades. Gorgeous. Demi is the cousin to Dubonnet, I think.

    My funniest/worst makeup experience was a 1997 biz trip to San Francisco, where the Benefit SA at Saks gave me black liquid eyeliner cat’s eyes, orange lipstick and – I think – yellow eyeshadow. NOT for nerd girl. I have no luck with that line anyway….

    • March says:

      I do think the BBs turn (particularly since you bought them!) but they do go off… worth it, though, if you love the color.

      And I think I have read recommendations of the purple/plum, no, seriously! Maybe even in LMercier. Plum looks gorgeous on me too, there’s one I have that I use as a smoky eye that’s so flattering. Plum/purple looks awesome with blue and green eyes. Probably brown eyes too.

      Okay, my funniest makeover experience was prior to an afternoon wedding in Dallas years ago (I was killing time at the mall.) I had my face done at Clinique with something “fun and natural” and came out looking like a $50 hooker. I didn’t even know you could *get* that look with Clinique!

      • MJ says:

        I had no idea you could get the hooker look with Clinique either! I didn’t know those eye products could go on heavily enough to be that visible!

        You wanna look like a hooker, something with a lot of color and staying power like MAC or MUFE would be the choice.

    • March says:

      PS for you I’m trying to think… you can’t work a much darker lip? All the colors I can’t wear (jealous.) Those dark burgundy and wine dealies? There’s a whole universe of those colors I think look way better on women with warmer skin. And I think you ought to retry BB for some fresh lippies — she has a lot of darker colors and she works brown into things, they could work great on you and not be a boring/too light YLBB.

  • lunarose says:

    as a fair lady with sensitive, easily burning skin that EATS makeup, i refuse to buy anything over $3.00 that i can’t try and let set on my face for a few hours first. (plus i have rosacea and a ton of broken veins from it so i need v. good coverage that lasts as well). for me the Bare Escentuals foundations and face colors work well, i even sleep in them most of the time. they provide good sun protection. it’s also a line where you can go super natural or very wild. Laura Mercier makes THE BEST concealers i’ve ever used.

    i also like that you can blend the powders. i used their fair bronzer, but it was still a little dark, so i just mixed some up with the foundation i use in an old lip gloss pot. now it’s fine. so if you’re very particular about your colors and textures it’s nice to be able to mix. i also like the range of textures.

    natural vs. wild? i think it depends on your mood and what the situation is, what you want to project. i like to have different options at hand. once my mom was going in for surgery and i did an especially dewy-eyed and faced look to cheer her up. and she noticed! ‘hon, you look so fresh and relaxed….’ what a crazy family! but it goes to show you do project mood, etc. with your visual look.

    • March says:

      Post coming up on mineral foundations! I am playing with those … okay, veering off before I sidetrack. Doing the color matching is the most tedious part for me.

      It’s fun working different looks.

  • Sweet Sue says:

    I haven’t got the hang of the reply thingy.

  • Sweet Sue says:

    Thanks, Musette,you’re a doll, and I’ll try the slate blue pencil.

  • quimerula says:

    Kevin Aucoin. Best make-up books ever, hands down.

    I am an ash-blonde who decided to go ginger thanks to Lush’s Caca Rouge (fantatastic stuff), very fair pink complexion and mossy green eyes (with dashes of brown). And now that I am 30 I have discovered the UNIVERSAL DAILY MAKEUP (yes, bold) for me:

    – Foundation: Sisley Phytoteint 02 applied with a brush, a squirt if I don’t want a full coverage or two if I have a bad day. A squirt is enough to work around my eyes (dark circles)and nose; if I add some MAC Fix+ to dilute the foundation left in the brush to use it all over the face I get a balance between heavy (where needed) and light (to even the face) coverage.
    – Blush: Pinch Your Cheeks from Origins, in Raspberry 01. It took a little to master it but it’s worth the effort. Natural pink looking cheecks (just like if you run to catch the bus but failed) that keep me from looking too pale.
    – Eyes: here I go wild 😛 choosing between pale shades of beige and pink. Matte or shiny (Lightly applied).
    – Lashes: brown mascara. Really. Anyone. I’m not picky.
    – Lips: I really like the 8 hour lippies from Elisabeth Arden. I go for the pinky one (#2) or the cherry one (#5).

    And that’s it!

    And that’s it.

    • March says:

      What on earth is Caca Rouge?!?! The name makes me giggle. I’ll go look it up.

      One of these days I’m going to sample everyone’s makeup routine. I think they’re fun to read.

      I’ve come to the conclusion that some of those super-bright blushes applied with a VERY light hand actually look amazing.

  • Olfacta says:

    I remember reading in college that the older you get the less, not more, makeup you should wear. I think I’ve, regrettably, seen the last of heavily frosted anything, of colored kohls (although browns and brown/black still work) or blue/green/purple shadows. Wish it wasn’t so, but it is — all of that stuff just looks weird on me now. I still wear eye makeup — won’t go out of the house without it — and blush. And concealer, which I buy in 5 gallon drums.

    • March says:

      I know, I know! I have to be careful of working too much eye at the same time as a lot of lip. And it IS aging. My kid in a lot of shadow still looks like a kid. I think (carefully done concealer aside) many women look younger without a ton of artfully done color. I miss really bright eyeshadow, it just looks silly on me now. Or, rather, I can’t pull it off. There are some ladies who do, though, and beautifully.

  • Nava says:

    The first “beauty” book I ever bought was Paula Begoun’s “Blue Eyeshadow Should Be Illegal”. Big mistake. Huge. I had no idea she was the industry killjoy, pointing out how horrible most makeup and skin care products are because of all the synthetic ingredients they contain, in addition to how most women out there are walking around wearing the wrong colors of every cosmetic they use, from their foundation to (obviously) blue eye shadow.

    I haven’t read many beauty books since then, but I definitely admire Mercier’s approach. I think European women are more down-to-earth about beauty and aging, and are more accepting of it.

    By the way, if you go to Begoun’s website and view some of her videos, it is quite clear that she’s indulged in some degree of “cosmetic” overhaul. I wonder if newer editions of her books praise the effects of Botox?

    • March says:

      I spent an hour a week for a couple months reading Begoun’s Don’t Go Buy Makeup Without Me (or whatever it’s called) in the library while my kid was being tutored. I could never make up my mind. On the one hand, I admire all her research, and her information can be useful. On the other hand, eventually I felt she kind of missed the whole point of the concept. People don’t wear blue eyeliner because they think it’s good for them, you know? I thought she could be oddly dismissive of a product’s actual appearance.

  • Gail S says:

    I don’t know about tips that you’d find useful, but purely for eye-candy, I love Kevin Aucoin’s Making Faces. In it, he turns very recognizable celebrities into someone else via makeup. Totally cool 🙂

    I’m afraid that I gave up on makeup as fun about the time I had to start getting up at 0500 for work. Now it’s only about disguising the necessities, i.e. evening skin tone and keeping it relatively shine-free and putting mascara on my blond eyelashes. Now I mostly express my girliness in perfume and nail polish. I guess it evens out?

    • March says:

      Oh, I totally forgot about that!!! I saw that book once in a store. Off to abe to check… that man was a genius, what a loss.

      Up at 0500? Ugh. I would do nothing, makeup-wise. Maybe some lip gloss. I’d figure my coworkers were lucky if I washed my face and brushed my teeth. 🙂

      • Gail S says:

        If I didn’t have the oiliest skin in the universe and invisible eyelashes, I wouldn’t do a doggone thing 🙂

        • March says:

          It’s funny what you take for granted. I don’t have invisible lashes, but I see the profound difference on my blonde friends before and after mascara. 🙂

    • karin says:

      I have both of Aucoin’s books – both great! Also have all of Bobbi’s books except for her latest. I’ve used Bobbi Brown makeup for years. Haven’t had the need to try anything else, though I had some Lorac kits that I loved, and succumbed to Trish McEvoy’s “planner” a few years ago when they were having a makeover thing. Also love Dior’s eye shadow palettes. Back to books…never seen Mercier’s – now I’m anxious to check them out! I also have Trish McEvoy’s book, but wasn’t as impressed with hers as with Bobbi’s.

      Speaking of makeup, is anyone an avid mineral makeup fan? I’ve tried Jane Iredale and have a bunch of Everyday Minerals containers. I seem to have a reaction to the stuff – feels irritating on my skin. I also think it shows fine lines much more than traditional makeup does. Guess I just don’t understand the fad.

      • March says:

        I’m going to do a mineral makeup post, I have questions too. And some other general questions about powder. The BE one (the original) made my skin itch, but I’ve tried a couple others, and I think they have potential in my humid summer climate…

        • karin says:

          A mineral makeup post would be great! I know this isn’t a makeup blog, but… 🙂

  • Musette says:

    CrapCrapCrappityCrap! The site ate my response! (now watch it turn up in a tick).

    Anyway, said this:

    JLo-Colored/old/stress-neglected skin/glasses: requires neutral/YlBB

    Love Mercier. Esp. tinted moisturizer. Also MUF Hi-def makeup for dressier occasions.

    SILICA powder via Coastal Scents (1/4 of the MUF price – same stuff) with kabuki brush (ditto) LIGHTLY applied. Refracts light and doesn’t settle into pores. Great for a polished-but-natural finish.

    SweetSue: Too funny! Made me choke on my coffee. Hair/eye/skin combo sounds fab-ola. Try a slate-blue crayon as thick eyeliner, see if you like it.


    • March says:

      Hon, your comment is so innocent, and it didn’t contain any links! I am completely baffled as to how you wound up in the spam filter, although as you can see I fished you back out.

      Interestingly, our current spam is less porn and more phony endorsements by “real people” who just love some random skincare line, then they put in a link to the site.

  • Sweet Sue says:

    That’s looked ghastly–morning goo in eyes.
    But the Mercier book looks interesting.

  • Sweet Sue says:

    I’m fair skinned, blue eyed and, now, my hair is silver.
    Bobbi Brown’s signature colors have always looke ghastly on me-like mud.
    I’d be better off with Whitney Houston’s Bobby Brown’s make-up collection.

    • Musette says:

      Dadgummit, Sweet Sue! You made me spit out my coffee!:=))) (that should be ROFL but we’ll see…)

      I have combination skin: it’s a combination of extreme stress, age and neglect these past 4 years so I have to be extremely careful with makeup. Plus I’m a deep olive (think JLo color) and extreme makeup colors look very odd on me. I do best with Laura Mercier or MakeUpForever (my original Holy Grail) and I usually wear glasses so nearly everything I do is neutral or YLBB. My one concession to color is eyeshadow, which I use only as a thick eyeliner (again, age changes how you can wear face colors, in my opinion)

      Back in the day I had a makeup artist – Nicole Bond. She, genius that she is, taught me to apply my makeup pretty much as I apply pain to a canvas when I’m doing a portrait. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

      And let’s face it (hee hee – I made a funny:-D it’s just makeup. If you go somewhere and find people looking at you oddly you can always take a bit of it off, as I did when I recently strayed into HotPinkLipstick territory.

      Btw – that fs/be/silv combo sounds KILLAH! Try a deep slate-blue crayon pencil as eyeliner – see how you like it.

      Btw (last one) silica powder. Can’t beat it (it’s a bazillion $$$ at MUF but you can get it at Coastal Scents for about 32 cents). Applied VERY lightly, with a Kabuki brush (or any very dense, wide brush) it hides a multitude of sins and doesn’t settle into pores like regular powder.


      • March says:

        Seriously, you don’t look great in hot pink lips? I would love that on you. Something like NARS Schiap? Huh. You’re right, though — it’s play. If you do something ridic you can take it off. Although looking at photos of myself wearing too-light undereye concealer causes me physical pain…

        so do you feel like we reach a point where “our” makeup ought to be about enhancing our “natural” looks and less about making a statement? With the possible exception of bright lips?

        • Musette says:

          Actually, I used to rock the daylights out of hot-pink lips, back when I was thinner and wore contacts. Seriously, it doesn’t look good now. Something about the glasses and the heavier face – and maybe the hair (I’m smoothing it out a bit, going more Dita von Teese, though not quite as dark). Perhaps as these poundages go off I will revisit (and it’s starting – yay! Nothing like Eat Less, Exercise More to effect a change. Who’dathunkit!LOL!)

          But I’ll have to go back to contacts, which I’ve been considering anyway. I’ve gotten really lazy with my looks. Dumb. But that’s changing. El O’s on his way to church (campaigning, not worshipping, the heathen!) – I’m going to mask and microderm and take a nap! REST is the best beauty secret there is!

          xo >-)

          • March says:

            Well, then, get some contacts, durnit! I think you’d look awesome … you sure you’re not being too hard on yourself? Have you tried a hot bath, dimmed lights and some candles?

    • March says:

      Yes. I have your issue, only slightly less so. the porcelain-skinned, blue-eyed, silver-haired woman appears to be the polar opposite of the best fit for BB cosmetics, although there are still some options in there.

  • BBJ says:

    I only discovered Bobbi Brown last summer, and I’m still experimenting. I have two lipsticks from her line, “Brownie” and “Putty” (hideous name, beautiful shade on me.) I plan to buy more of her stuff when I have some money again.

    I love the lipsticks, and will probably finish off the Putty and buy it again. I love that they are subtle colors that still have a little dramatic zing, and my skin tone is olivish enough that her yellow-brown tones really work well on me. Also, the texture of the stuff works for me–it actually stays on my lips, which is rare. Lipsticks wear and burn off me quickly.

    I will probably want to get some of the darker shades of lipstick and experiment with them. I may get some of the eyeshadows too, eventually.

    I’m still hunting for the perfect base.

    I’m in my thirties, and there are women my age, and older and younger, who look awesome in brights and very daring makeup. I’m just not one of them. I have one tube of spectacularly red lipstick that is only for evening parties, and everything else is taupe to brown to berry.

    • March says:

      Well, obviously part of the “brights” is personal style — whether you feel comfortable in them. And I like the way Mercier challenges some assumptions, like green-eyed people (me) shouldn’t wear green shadow — she thinks it looks great.

      I have several BB lipsticks, Peony is a pink with a little brown in it that is gorgeous. Probably my holy grail BB product though is her long-wear shadow pots (I forgot what they are called), you put them on with a brush. They’re a great neutral shade that covers up my rabbit-pink lids, don’t look crepey, and they stay put. 🙂