Posted in cosmetics

About Face


As you know, I am gearing up for the Listen To Your Mother Austin performance.  We have two shows on Saturday, April 25, at 3pm and 7pm, and one of those will be video’d for distribution on the LTYM YouTube channel.  If you’ve read more than three posts here, you know that I am more than superficially concerned with my appearance, so in preparing for the show, I decided I needed to brush up my contouring skills.

See, I have a very soft jawline.  This means that from certain angles (like the one I’ll be filmed from for the LYTM show) my chin disappears entirely, melting into my neck, so that I look like a sock puppet with nice eyes.  I could show you my passport photo as proof, but I won’t.

I know how to contour, but have had limited success in doing it on my own head.  I’ve managed to add just enough shadows to make myself look like a sock puppet with nice eyes, and a brown U shape where a jawline should be.  I do not want that for the LYTM show.

I booked myself into BLUSHINGTON for a Camera Ready, Lucky Stars look.  My makeup artist, Desiree, listened, looked, and got to work.  Normally, the first time I see a makeup artist, I walk out looking like I’ve been playing in my mother’s kit.  I was really pleased at what Desiree did for me, and was very happy that she took the time to walk me through not just the How-To of applying contour, but the Why-This.

I walked into Blushington looking like this.  And I took this photo (with flash) from an unflattering angle.  The flash gave me a chin.  Yay for chins!
I walked into Blushington looking like this. And I took this photo (with flash) from an unflattering angle. The flash gave me a chin. Yay for chins!
I walked out looking like this.  Same camera angle with flash, and I did my best to make the same facial expression.  Amazing what a little paint can do for a girl!
I walked out looking like this. Same camera angle with flash, and I did my best to make the same facial expression. Amazing what a little paint can do for a girl!

Here’s what I liked about the look:

  1. I had cheekbones!
  2. I had a jaw!
  3. My nose no longer looked like a little blob of silly putty
  4. Eyebrows!
  5. And the contouring took five pounds off my face

Here’s what I didn’t like:

  1. The product really didn’t work with my skin type, which is nothing to do with the makeup artist
  2. I felt like the look aged me 10 years
  3. I felt like the eyeline was too thin
  4. I like to line my lips before wearing a really bright lipstick, so I can even them out.  My face isn’t symmetrical enough to carry off that much color without building out my lip first.

The big challenge was to get home and see if I could recreate the work Desiree had done.  I loved her, by the way.  She was very knowledgeable about product, trends, and makeup artists.  She was as familiar with the looks in Kevin Aucoin’s books as I am, and that doesn’t happen every day.  We spoke the same look-language, and that made me trust her more.

This is what the makeup looked like in the lighting of my bathroom.
This is what the makeup looked like in the lighting of my bathroom.
This is the profile of the Blushington contouring.
This is the profile of the Blushington contouring.
I washed off the left side of my face, except for the eye makeup because it is so similar to what I normally do.  I did take off the eye makeup that was on my lower lid.  The left side of my face is the more difficult side for me to do.
I washed off the left side of my face, except for the eye makeup because it is so similar to what I normally do. I did take off the eye makeup that was on my lower lid. The left side of my face is the more difficult side for me to do.
I used a highlighter pencil from my last Ipsy glam bag to draw in my highlights.  A funky, half Texas shape under my eye, a skinny triangle just above my jaw, and a blob shape above my eyebrow.  You want to put the light color in places you'd like to stand out, and I was trying to make my super-round, biscuit face into a shapely oval.
I used a highlighter pencil from my last Ipsy glam bag to draw in my highlights. A funky, half Texas shape under my eye, a skinny triangle just above my jaw, and a blob shape above my eyebrow. You want to put the light color in places you’d like to stand out, and I was trying to make my super-round, biscuit face into a shapely oval.
Then, I used my Rockateur bronzer from Benefit to make contour.  This is absolutely the wrong color for this work, but it's all I had.  I'll be picking up some ELF colors soon.  The contour went really close to my hairline to oval out the round, and in a Nike swoosh right on the bone of my cheekbone, and in another swooshy shape under my jawline, starting BEHIND MY EAR.  That's critical.  It makes the shadowing look more natural.   When I blended (and you have to blend like a fiend) I blended into my ear and all the way down my neck-also critical if you want to avoid looking like your head is pasted on.
Then, I used my Rockateur bronzer from Benefit to make contour. This is absolutely the wrong color for this work, but it’s all I had. I’ll be picking up some ELF colors soon. The contour went really close to my hairline to oval out the round, and in a Nike swoosh right on the bone of my cheekbone, and in another swooshy shape under my jawline, starting BEHIND MY EAR. That’s critical. It makes the shadowing look more natural. When I blended (and you have to blend like a fiend) I blended into my ear and all the way down my neck-also critical if you want to avoid looking like your head is pasted on.
I used a tiny brush to make a line down the side of my nose, to make ti look skinnier and less like a blob.  Then I blended like crazy.
I used a tiny brush to make a line down the side of my nose, to make ti look skinnier and less like a blob. Then I blended like crazy.
So here's my face with the highlights and low lights blended, before foundation.
So here’s my face with the highlights and low lights blended, before foundation.
And here's the profile blended before foundation.  I blended out the shadows a little too well, and had to go back and add more.
And here’s the profile blended before foundation. I blended out the shadows a little too well, and had to go back and add more.
I used a damp blending sponge to pat on my MAC Studio Fix foundation, then thickened up my eyeliner with a Lancome artliner, and drew my eyebrow back in with my favorite Too Faced Brownie eyeliner pencil in the color Blondie.
I used a damp blending sponge to pat on my MAC Studio Fix foundation, then thickened up my eyeliner with a Lancome artliner, and drew my eyebrow back in with my favorite Too Faced Brownie eyeliner pencil in the color Blondie.
Profile of the look blended with foundation.
Profile of the look blended with foundation.
I put on my MAC blush, drew in my lipline with NYX lipliner, and put on some gloss by Moxie.
I put on my MAC blush, drew in my lipline with NYX lipliner, and put on some gloss by Moxie.
From the side with blush.
From the side with blush.
And from the front again, smiling.
And from the front again, smiling.

So, I feel like the thicker eyeliner opens the eye more.  I drew a much higher arch onto my brow, which opens up my face more.  I took the eyeliner away from the lower lid, which keeps the cheekbone open, too.

And lest we forget the magic of cosmetics, this is what it looks like with nothing on at all.
And lest we forget the magic of cosmetics, this is what it looks like with nothing on at all.
And this is all the stuff I used.
And this is all the stuff I used.

That’s that.

I do recommend BLUSHINGTON if you ever need your face done up for a special event.  Everyone I saw walking out looked beautiful and fresh.  There were ladies much older than I being done up for a day of lunching and shopping, and girls who were getting done up for the prom.  I overheard one lady in the lobby saying that people thought she was crazy for driving to Dallas to get her face done, but when she showed them photos of a wedding she’d been in, made up by Blushington artists, they all understood.  Neither hips, nor photos lie.

Posted in 2the9s, cosmetics

Makeup Reviews: New-to-Me products I love and one to avoid


You all know how much I love cosmetics (not to be worn all at once like the cheerleaders I saw last night–girls, no) and I am always looking for that perfect piece to add to my collection.  Here are the latest two to make the cut:

First up, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Demolition
24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Demolition

This is great stuff!  I’ve been unhappy with my liquid liners lately (wearing off at the inside corners of my eyes with allergy tears), and I picked this up after drawing on my arm with about ten different colors.  Demolition, the color I chose, is a great shade that skews to what you are wearing with it.  It writes out almost a dark bronze, but it skews to a gunmetal and an olive, making it extremely versatile.  The brush is the perfect size for getting a fine line, and it is truly waterproof.  It wears for better than 12 hours.  I haven’t slept in it, so I don’t know about 24/7, but it definitely made it through a full week of workdays and pollen count weeping.

 

Next is Maybelline’s Superstay 24 Color lipstick.

Superstay 24 Color in All Day Cherry

All Day Cherry was one of those colors I saw on the model and thought, “That is the perfect red.  It will never look that good on me.”  But, I bought it anyway and was over the moon to discover that the color was true to the photograph.  I felt like I was wearing the lipstick equivalent of Ruby Red Slippers on my lips!  My mouth was magical!  There was no place like Sephora!  I mean Home!

I was also skeptical about the claims to how well the lipstick wore.  I’ve been trying the all-day colors since they started hawking them more than ten years ago, and I’ve never found one I thought was worth it.  All Day Cherry is my 4th of the Superstay 24s, and I can vouch for the long wear of each.  I’m pretty much in love with the line, but wasn’t compelled to write until I saw this red and tested it out during a 12 hour day–better actually.  I put it on at 6am and took it off at 7pm.

I am obsessive about how a red lip should look, so I did a touch up application after lunch–just to re-color the inner curve of my lower lip–but other than that, I was very impressed by how this held up.  Even more impressed that my lips never felt really dry.

One thing I tried that I did not like was the Maybelline Volume Express One-by-One mascara.  It’s crummy, crumbly, and flakes into my eyes.  Don’t bother with that one.