Black smokey eyes & lace appliques | A Halloween makeup look that’s glam, not gory

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I’ve always been a fan of more glamorous Halloween makeup looks; the sort that let you stretch your artistic muscles, but don’t necessarily translate into a character.

So, for this month, I put together three looks that are too over-the-top for everyday wear, but could totally pass at a Halloween party — without necessitating a trip to the local costume store. You’ve already seen the first of the three (last Monday’s vampy statement lips,) but I hope you enjoy this one, too.

Don’t miss the full lace makeup tutorial on She Said Beauty, and keep a lookout on theNotice for the secrets behind this smokey eye (later in the week).

I started the look with a basic black smokey eye; dramatic and glittery on a creme base (Annabelle SmudgePaint in Glitzy Black) and paired it with sculpted cheeks, fresh skin, and (perhaps most importantly) a nude-but-not-too-nude lip: in this case, Have A Lovely Day!, the MAC Casual Colour that I’m so in love with.

Then, for that extra bit of Halloween, I added a lace mask to the look. Rather than pinning actual lace to my hair, I’ve used Sweetart, an easy lace appliqué from the FaceLace range.

I was a bit iffy about the range at first (you want me to pay how much for a piece of lace??), but they might just be worth checking out. The masks stick directly onto the skin, making them less finicky than pinned-in fabric lace, and the flexible vinyl both wears comfortably & holds up to repeated uses.

Keep reading! »

Second verse, same as the first (though this one feels a little different.)

Monday, October 22, 2012

You’re going to be seeing a lot of this look this week, and I feel a bit bad about that, but. But.

One of my favourite things about photography is the way that you can take the same subject; the same person, or place, or feeling, and just by photographing the scene differently, the resulting product is changed right down to its core. The casual disregard, the too-easy twisting and tweaking of reality is almost a transcendent action in my eyes; the ability to fully manipulate the viewer’s perception of the scene through techniques and technologies made entirely of human ingenuity without having to make headway on even the smallest of paradigm shifts.

For me, it speaks volumes about the subjectivity of the world, not just in perspective, but in the overwhelmingly transient nature of the individual experience. You can feel it in everything from a magician’s death-defying illusion; to a trick of the light; to the optical aberration, translated metaphorically into every interpersonal interaction, and it shakes us to our bones.

What we see is almost entirely controlled by what is intended for prying eyes, and what we see through a lens even moreso: what we see of each other, then, is obfuscated so efficiently by what we are wanted and want to see. When you can be sixteen or twenty-six; when warm pink bends toward a dusty cyan; when lighting and technique have more sway on the observer than the subject’s own facets, when —

When the human experience is embodied with such fantastic intensity, what then could be more sublime?

On Our Radar | Guerlain Liu, Holiday 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Collection details »

Brush up a spell with the new Sephora + Pantone Universe Enchanting Dual-Sided Brush Set: review, photos

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The product: SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE Enchanting Dual-Sided Brush Set

Of all the Sephora + Pantone products to come out this season, this set was the only one to really grab! my attention. I missed out on the split fibre brushes in the MAC Semi-Precious and In Extra Dimension collections (last winter & this spring, respectively), so I was hoping these would fill the gap.

And they did, sort of. Maybe. Kind of.

The build: It’s always interesting to work with really novel tools, and these rather were. With a synthetic side (great for picking up and spreading out cream products) paired right up against a natural-fibre side (perfect for buffing and blending), they’re a different experience than normal brushes, and I think it really works in their favour.

What I’m not so crazy about, though, is the natural-hair side of these brushes. It’s a little on the rough side, and I find they shed, particularly when I’m working with heavier products, like concealer or cream foundation. For the results and expediency, I’ve been putting up with it, but the shedding really keeps these from being a HG brush set.

The individual brushes

I’m not crazy about the overly-fluffy powder brush, but I’m actually quite pleased with the other three shapes in this set. (It’s a first, for me — maybe it’s just because this one’s on the small side, but I find brush sets typically have at least three or four brushes that I just know I’ll never use.)

The eyeshadow brush is great for applying concealer to the eye/undereye area, as well as around the nose, and the foundation brush is kind of brilliant, at least in shape. The shedding’s a letdown, but I can finish my face in less than half the time with this than I’d need with a regular (all-synthetic) foundation brush, or even a kabuki brush.

But the true star of this set’s the blush brush. While it doesn’t look small, there’s just something about the build and shape that makes it surprisingly versatile. I can use it for sheer washes of colour, strong pops of pink… anything!

Since I started using this set, the blush brush is the only thing I’ve been using to contour — it puts down just the right amount of colour and blends with ridiculous ease.

The bag

Cases usually aren’t a selling point for me, but I actually really liked this one. Sleek and well-pocketed, it fits the brushes well, and has space to hold and sort a few basic products, too.

It’s easy to clean and travel with, and I think it manages to take the set from “pretty okay” to “actually rather impressive.”

The verdict?

If the Enchanting brush set had just one flaw, I’d say the $42 USD/$50 CAD price tag was a really good deal. With two, however (I could do without the powder brush, & the natural fibres do shed quite a bit with “stickier” cream products,) my praise is a bit more reserved.

That said, I do actually really like this set, and both the foundation & blush brushes have weaselled their way into my permanent (personal) brush collection. At $50, the price is a touch too high, but there are whispers that Sephora’s annual Friends & Family sale is coming up ;)

Keep reading! »

Don’t miss this » Gothic statement lips in red and black

Monday, October 15, 2012

The cool thing about October being a beauty blogger is that you’re totally allowed to throw whatever on your face, whenever you want to. Not so much with the wherever, but two out of three’s not bad. And then, to top it all off, (because everyone else can technically the whatever-whenever thing,) you get to label it as “work” instead of “whimsy and a lack of impulse-control.”

Anyhow. Here’s a step-by-step photo tutorial to on gothic statement lips, aka “we already did blue and violet ages ago so let’s use red and black and maybe throw some purple in there.” Because everything is better with burgundy and violet. Everything.

Read the full tutorial (albeit with less photos and much less nonsensical rambling personality) here on She Said Beauty. 

Start the look with bare lips and contoured, just-flushed cheeks…

Then give yourself an unsightly pinched mouth with lipliner (and, okay, eyeliner).

Don’t lie; you know you’re dying to keep reading »

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