Monday, February 28, 2011

Makeup Look of the Day: The Professional

As requested by a dear friend of mine, here are two professional looks that are office appropriate.  The first one (above) is a smoky eye/natural lip combo while the second (below) is a minimal eye/strong lip combo.  In the photo above, I used two shades of gray shadows-- a dark gray and a bluish gray.  I applied the bluish gray to the entire lid and the darker gray on the lash line. I also applied black liquid liner on the upper lash line and finished it off with brownish black mascara.  Black shadow shouldn't be selected for this look; it is too intense and therefore distracting.   You should also never go above the crease when wearing a smoky eye to the office--save that look for the club.  As for the lips, I used two different glosses to make a natural and shiny color that would offset the smoky eye for a clean and balanced-out look.

This look is considerably different from the first.  The eye makeup is minimal-- a thin black line on the lids and one coat of mascara applied to curled lashes.  Instead of focusing on the eyes, attention is given to the mouth.  Despite what you may have heard, red lips ARE office appropriate, given that it is the right shade of red (something muted as I'm wearing above, nothing too bright) and that the eyes are downplayed.  

I think both looks are equally fun to wear.  Each one can be tweaked to complement your skin tone, outfit, and personal style.  When wearing makeup to the office it's important to remember that less is more, but don't be afraid to push the limits a little bit--while keeping it in good taste! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Makeup Look of the Day: The Minimalist

Winona Ryder
The Minimalist is a look that proves that a little bit of the right makeup can go a long way.  I don't always agree that less is more, but on someone with great bone structure and naturally big bright eyes (as in Winona Ryder's case), it really is.  This look is highly appropriate for casual everyday wear, especially in a professional setting.  It is also universally flattering on all skin tones and ages.  

The Minimalist uses really basic makeup: concealer, brown eye shadow in the crease and under eyes, white eyeshadow applied to the inner corners, pink cream blush on cheeks and temples, nude lip pencil and clear gloss.
      For the Minimalist glow, I used Sonia Kashuk cream blush in Blossom (sold only at Target stores).  It comes in a round, shallow pot and is easily applied with your fingertips.  What I like about cream blush is that it blends into the skin really easily and gives you a dewy glow. This cream blush in particular is a nice color on someone with fair skin like myself, as its light rosy pink color gives off a really natural yet noticeable effect.  

Monday, February 14, 2011

Makeup Look of the Day: The Enigma

Gwyneth Paltrow

The Enigma is mysterious and emotionally haunting.  A damsel in distress.  The roles played by Sophia Loren in Two Women and Anna Magnani in the Rose Tattoo are two best examples of the Enigma in film.  The look is heavily dependent upon smeared eye makeup.  
Sophia Loren in Two Women

To get this look, I used liquid foundation with a bronzer that reflects light really nicely.  Then I mixed together an apricot cream blush with a hot pink powder blush to get an orangy-red color on the cheeks.  The lips were filled in with a natural toned lip pencil and followed with a clear red lip gloss.  The eyes, which are the pivotal feature of this look, should look beautifully messy, as though you've been crying and your once perfect makeup has been ruined by tears.  I used black pencil eyeliner on my upper eyelids and lower rims and then applied black mascara to curled top lashes and bottom lashes.  Then, to get the splattered look, I took the mascara wand and pressed it gently but firmly to my eyelids, crease, and under eye area.  The result was not quite as intense as Gwyneth wears it, but you can get a good idea of how mascara can be used in an unexpectedly beautiful and interesting way.

The mascara used for this look should be black since black gives off the most drama, something the Enigma is highly known for.  I used one of my favorite drugstore brand mascaras-- Rimmel Lycra Lash Extender.  It has a skinny enough wand in order to control the amount and placement of mascara around the eyes to get the intensity just right.  
Rimmel Lycra Lash Extender mascara in black

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Makeup Look of the Day: The Purist

Kiara Kabakuru
The Purist utilizes products that reflect light naturally for a youthful, healthy, and modern look.  The face should look clean, moisturized, and well as fashion forward and fun.  The look is captured beautifully on model Kiara Kabakuru.

    I used liquid foundation, apricot colored liquid blush on cheeks, chin, and hairline, purple powder eyeshadow on the outer corners of the eyes, orangy-copper shadow on the browbones, black mascara, and a dark lip pencil followed by two different colored lipsticks (Lancome's Mauvette, and Revlon's Burgundy) to come up with a similar color to what Kiara is wearing. 


My favorite drugstore foundation is L'Oreal True Match makeup in Soft Ivory, which is the lightest shade from this line.  Of all the inexpensive foundations I've tried, this is simply the best.  It also lended itself nicely to this look to achieve a clean and pure base for which to build on.  If you're on a budget and can't afford expensive makeup counter foundation, you really ought to give True Match a try.  Bonus: they have a wide variety of shades within three different undertones: warm, neutral, and cool.  

Friday, February 4, 2011

Makeup Look of the Day: The Model

Studio 54- Andy Warhol with Jerry Hall

Very late '70s/early '80s, the Model is an homage to the first supermodels that burst onto the fashion scene in the mid-Seventies.  Feathered hair, heavy eyeliner, and Studio 54 with all its decadence should come to mind.  Kate Hudson's recent interpretation was inspired by the look Kevyn Aucoin did on '90s model Nadja Auermann (upper left).

the 1978 movie The Eyes of Laura Mars

For this look, I used a light foundation, black eye pencil on the upper and lower lids, black eyeshadow traced over the liner and winged out and up toward the temples.  Golden shadow was also applied to the inner corners of the eyes and browbones.  Black mascara on curled lashes followed by a hot pink blush (very '70s!) and a dark berry gloss on the lips were the final touches.

Instead of a dark burgundy lip color that you can see on Kate Hudson and Nadja Auermann, I decided to use a dark berry shade because this seemed more '70s to me.  I used Clinique GlossWear in Raspberry Jam. It's a very glossy lip color that comes in a pot with a small brush that allows for precise application.  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Makeup Look of the Day: The Biba

The Biba was Britain's answer to the Sixties It Girl.  She was undeniably fashionable, bold, yet still somehow mysterious.  With the use of very rich makeup, all features are highlighted in a daring but ethereal way. As a modern British It Girl herself, Kate Moss was wisely chosen as the Biba muse.
To achieve this look, I used black eye pencil for upper and lower rims, black eyeshadow around the entire eye, in a slightly downturned angle, and a thin coat of black mascara on (uncurled) top and bottom lashes.  Light pink blush was swept over the cheeks and a dark-toned lip pencil was used to outline and fill in the lips. It's essential to this look for the lips to be outlined in a "Cupid's bow" shape (see Kate Moss).  You want to slightly overdraw both lips and round the corners of the upper lip.  The last step is to apply a dark plum lip color. 

The Biba was named for this women's boutique in London

It's not easy to pull off black eyeshadow.  And it might be even more difficult to apply.  A helpful tip is to first use translucent face powder on your lids and below the eyes if you are going to apply it to the under eye area.  Not only does powder help to eliminate shine, but it also works great to set powder eyeshadows so they won't get greasy or streaky.  Today I used Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Transparent.  I especially like this powder because it contains natural minerals which are good (and gentle) for your skin.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Makeup Look of the Day: The Swinger

The Swinger was the "It Girl" of the Sixties.  An independent spirit paired with an effortlessly cool attitude, she prided herself on being the essence of what was considered modern for the time.  Dark yet natural toned eye makeup with heavy eyeliner, pale lips, and a bouncy hairdo defined the Swingin' Sixties Woman.

I used a light brown eyeshadow on my lids with a darker brown in the crease for more depth.  Then I applied a very thick line of black liquid liner to the the upper lids, drawing the line thickest in the middle of the lid.  Black mascara was then swiped onto curled lashes.  A light pink blush on the cheeks and a cool toned pink lip gloss complete the look.  I also squared off my eyebrows a little bit to give a more defined '60s style arch.


One of my favorite- and most effective- makeup tools is my Tweezerman metal eyelash curler.  It might not be the most obvious choice, but in my opinion, this is the best eyelash curler on the market.  It's also very easy to find since they are sold at pretty much any drugstore around.  I'm also a big fan of their tweezers and won't use anything other than the Tweezerman slant tweezer on my eyebrows to take care of those annoying strays.  Do yourself a favor and pick up both items!