Previously in Putting Your Face On: Shining in Winter.
My Toastini sweethearts! Hiiiii! This month we’re talking about hawtness. There are times when you need to crank the sexy up to max. When you want to serve serious face, turn heads, maybe snap a few necks in the process. Perhaps you have an uber-glam event. A hot date. Or maybe it’s just Tuesday. Who cares? Listen! You never need a reason to look beautiful. My go-to look for such occcasions is the famous smokey eye/nude lip combo. We want a soft smudgy eye, power brows, and pouty lips with just the slightest suggestion of natural colour. I’m talking “turn off the lights, light a candle” over here. Observe.
But before we begin. Are there any of you out there reading this and feeling a bit dubious? Maybe you’re a bit worried about trying a bolder look. Maybe you’re concerned that it’ll be too much? Or, horror of horrors, are you thinking, “I don’t really DO sexy.” I demand that you STOP before you go and break my heart. You are a gorgeous thing — a force to be reckoned with, even without a smudge of makeup on your face. Playing with colours doesn’t have to be frightening, my darlings. It should be fun, fabulous, and enhance your already lovely features. Any look can be as bold or gentle as you like. So take a deep breath and say it with me — “I am fierce. I am sexy. And everyone will just have to deal.” Yes! Join me! TONIGHT, WE RIDE! *charges into battle brandishing lip gloss*
Huzzah! Now that we’re feeling pumped, let’s get straight into this look. As always, start with a cleansed, toned and moisturized face.
MAC Studio Fix Foundation fluid in NW47: You may remember that I like to use foundation as a concealer to cover any blemish-esque foolishness on my face. Use a flat concealer or foundation brush to get an even finish. Pro tip: Use the back of your hand as a palette — simply drop a dollop of foundation on your hand and wait about 30 seconds before applying. The warmth of your skin will actually start to melt the foundation. This helps the foundation blend in a gloriously smooth fashion.
MAC Studio Fix Powder in N9: As always, try and use a nice fluffy powder brush. I love the big vintage-style powder brushes, and I urge you to waste a few minutes unnecessarily dusting your face and pretending to be Marilyn Monroe. Once you’ve finished your breathy rendition of “Happy Birthday, Mr. President,” go ahead and buff the powder onto your face in a circular motion.
YSL Touche Eclat Highlighter in Shade 6: For a bold eye like this, it’s important to make sure we banish any dark circles. After using your concealer to colour-correct, highlight to add that OOMPH. I sometimes (always) wake up after a late night of reading about global politics (playing Fruit Ninja until I pass out and drop my phone on my face) and this amazing highlighter does wonders for under my eyes. It’s a glorious gleaming potion that’s roughly two shades lighter than my concealer. It also contains light-reflecting particles to add a beautiful sheen. Dot your highlighter (or any concealer two shades lighter than your skin tone) under your eyes in a sort of triangle shape alongside your nose. Also apply highlighter down the bridge of your nose and under the arch of your eyebrows. Bam!
BYS Eyeshadow Palette in “Smokey Chic”: Get the right eyeshadow palette and it will do most of the work for you. This divine little kit cost me something like $0.00 when I was Down Under — and most drugstore brands do something similar. It contains 5 shades, ranging from a pearly gold to a deep brown to a charcoal black. So as always, all you have to do is tailor for your skin tone! Don’t feel you have to use black — if you have a lighter complexion you could use the chocolate brown as your darkest shade.
Now! You’re going to love how easy this smokey eye is to create. Worried you might need fancy expensive makeup brushes? NOT SO. Have you got fingers? Yes? Then we’re good to go! Start by selecting your darkest shade and smoosh some onto your pinky finger. Aim for the outer corner of your eyelid and pat it gently on. Lightly drag the colour into the natural crease of your eye socket, and in towards the middle of your eyelid. Now go for the second darkest colour (this could be a brown or a grey or a bronze) in your palette and pat that into the inner half of your eyelid. Be gentle, and just use your finger to blend any harsh lines. Have fun with it and experiment- it’s a lazy sexy smokiness we’re going for here.
The finishing touch is to go for the lightest shade in your palette to highlight the inner corner of your eyes. This makes your eyes look bigger, and adds a pop to set off the surrounding smokiness. Once again just use your finger to dab the pearly shadow into the inner corner of your eye. Et voila.
Bourjois Liquid Liner: Okay, so I know there’s a lot of trepidation when it comes to creating the perfect winged eyeliner. Lesser women should be afraid, but not us. Oh no — we can do this. All it takes is some deep breaths and a lot of practice. Also the right tools make this a breeze! Look out for a nice jet-black liner in pen form. Most of them tend to look a bit like a marker, with a fine point.
Start by creating your “tail” first. Hold your eyelid taut with a finger and aim for a point halfway along the lash line. Create a bold line and continue outwards and upwards.
YOU DID IT! Have a celebratory cookie. Mmm. Nice. Now continue to carefully draw in your liner- sometimes it helps to start off with a really thin line and slowly build up to the desired thickness.
Rimmel Kohl Liner: This step is so simple, but it can really be the difference between “You look really nice” and “I MUST HAVE YOU IMMEDIATELY” All you need is a lovely black soft kohl liner pencil. These smudgy wonders are perfect for this kind of sultry look. They create a bold yet soft eye with gorgeous depth. Right before applying, just warm the tip of the pencil between your fingers for a sec (ooh make sure your hands are nice and clean). Now gently pull down your lower lid and apply to the bottom waterline. Look how much of a difference that makes!
MAC Sheertone Blush in Sweet as Cocoa: For this look we don’t want a bold blush- the focus is on the eyes yah? But we still want just a hint of warmth and colour on the cheeks. So for example, my fair-skinned lovelies could try a warm pink. My olive-skinned and medium brown ladies could go for a nice bronze with a hint of pink. My deep brown sweeties could opt for a bronze/gold or bronze/pink. Swirl onto the apples of your cheeks and then arc upwards along your cheekbones for a sculpted finish.
MAC Eyebrow pencil in Stud: Okay, so let’s talk brows for a hot minute! The perfect set of eyebrows will frame your face and generally increase the awesomeness of your life by 200% (SCIENCE). I would recommend getting your eyebrows shaped professionally, and then maintain the glorious shape by tweezing errant hairs. I’m a huge fan of eyebrow threading, where a trained beautician twists thread around the individual hairs and pulls them out. It’s so much better for your skin than waxing! The skin around the eye area tends to be thinner and more delicate, so hot wax coupled with too much pulling on the skin = badness (MORE SCIENCE). And most importantly, you get a cleaner, sharper shape with threading. I’m talking brows so sharp that they could cut a grown man’s face. Gals, this is why you NEED a well-shaped eyebrow for daily life: a) Arching one’s brow when suffering fools b) Serving imperious face to the aforementioned fools.
So! Use tiny strokes and follow your natural arch. Don’t press down too hard or try to draw in the entire brow from end to end. It will look fake and slightly startling, like “HELLO I HAVE ALL OF THE BROWS HI.” Pro-tip: Never fill in the very inner end of your brow — this part should look as natural as possible. Extra Pro-tip: Even if you have very dark hair, never use a black eyebrow pencil — black is a flat and harsh colour which never looks flattering. Opt for the darkest brown you can find instead. Start from the outer ends first and work your way inwards, lightening the strokes for a natural gradient effect.
Maybelline Volum’Express Cat-Eyes Mascara: As always, my pro-tip is to concentrate on the outer top lashes for a wide-eyed effect. I usually apply one coat of mascara, wait a couple of moments and then apply a second coat. For a look like this, we need to ensure that we definitely bring sexy back so make sure you catch every lash. Work your way slowly from the root all the way to the tip. I usually then use the very tip of the mascara brush to lightly run over the ends of the lashes- this adds a bit of length and lift.
Iman Moisturizing Lipstick in Sheer Iced Tea: This final step is amazing in its simplicity. Choose a lipstick or gloss that nearly matches your natural lip colour. If it has a hint of shimmer, even better! Smoosh on your lips. Smack ’em together in a wanton fashion. DONE!
And there you have it! Serve with a strut, unnecessarily high heels, and this level of sass:
Hope you enjoyed this my darlings! I’d love to hear back from you — what would you like to chat about next month? What are you putting on your faces this spring? Ooh and also it made my little heart glad to receive beauty questions from some of you on Le Twitter. Please do feel free to ask away at any time. Whatever I’m doing, you can bet your tush I’d rather be talking about lipstick instead… does a girl need a hashtag? How about #AskAdjpants? Discuss!