Four Easy Change-Ups. Or, How Not To Be Bored With Your Look.

When I know I’ve got a night out coming up (which in my case, is more like just going to a movie), I try to plan for at least two hours of time to get ready.  Why such an unreasonably long amount of time, you ask?  Well, I want to the time to go through the slow, slooooow process.  I want to turn on some I Love Lucy, I want to perhaps have some coffee in front of me, I want to think about my hair (which will probably end up in waves, but hey, it still takes time), I want to think about my makeup, and I ultimately want to think about it all in conjunction with my outfit, which is the hardest part.  Pulling an outfit together that I’m truly satisfied with is tough as getting a two-year-old completely happy with the toy in front of him.  So combine all of these factors together, and you can see why I want a maximum amount of time.  I want to be able to take as long as I need making decisions about whether I’m wearing my leather leggings or jeans, heavy eyeliner or an eyeshadow-based look, if I’m going straight or wavy with my hair.  The decision-making is the longest part of the process.

So, when it comes down to that decision-making, what are some options that I can have up my sleeve that won’t involve the same stuff I always do?  Or at least, just some quick ways to spice things up?  Here, four of my favorite quick strategies for putting a twist on your typical look:

faves improved

1)  Instead of using brown or black, use a colored eye pencil to create a new version of a smokey eye.  Start by mattifying your eyelid with a primer like BareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow.  Then use a colored eye pencil to draw a thick, thick line across your upper lid, and do the same on your lower lid though not quite as thick.  Fill in your whole upper lid using the pencil.  Next, use either a swab or a rubber tip (many eyeliners come with them attached) to smudge out the liner.  Smudge it up into the crease and out toward the end of your eyebrow.  Smudge the bottom lid as well, and finish with tons of mascara.  I personally love Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Vice; a sparkly, bright purple from this incredible range of colors.

2)  Pick a new shade of blush.  Find yourself gravitating toward the same blushes all time time?  Maybe you always do pinks, or you stick with corals, or perhaps you only ever wear bronzer.  I challenge you to try something completely different.  It’s surprising how much it can change the character of your makeup.  Go for a shade of plum, or something bright and shocking like NARS’ Exhibit A.  I’ve been loving MAC’s Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul as a different take on something both coral and bronzey.

3)  Up your brow game.  Thanks to Cara Delevigne and a slew of models following in her wake, bold brows have become the crowning glory of a full makeup look.  Heck, I would even say that nowadays you can get away with just filling in your brows and leaving the rest of the canvas blank.  Do the tiniest bit of necessary plucking, and use either a pencil or gel to fill in and even out the whole brow.  Use a wax or a gel to set them as well, and brushing the brows upward these days is a super fashion-forward look.  Full, well-groomed brows do so much to frame your face; I would challenge you to even try just taking care of your brows and leaving the rest to speak for itself.  It’s very French (and very easy).  I love using CK One’s Brow Pencil and Gel Duo in Crafty Raven on my own set.

4)  Instead of focusing on shine, try a mattified texture with your hair.  It’s easy to fall into the same routine of slathering on a frizz-fighting serum and using a paddle brush to try and create pristine shine with your hair.  However, there’s an arsenal of products out there these days that will lend a volumized, second-day, beachy texture to your hair that has its own kind of modern, rebel appeal as opposed to polished, ladylike shine.  IThey also make better use of your own texture! love Bumble and Bumble’s Thickening Dryspun Finish and Living Proof’s Instant Texture Mist.  You can rub a bit of the latter in while your hair air-dries, or you can scrunch it into your hair afterward.  The Bumble product does best on second-day hair or after you’ve blown it out to add rough dimension and volume.

Let me know what you’ve tried for a quick and easy change-up when you’re ready to step out.  Getting ready for a night out (or what usually looks more like a barbecue and some It’s Always Sunny’s in a friend’s backyard) has already become a rarity for me; using my creativity to the best of my abilities shouldn’t be.

Oh!  And I realized that I haven’t followed up on my last post!  I present, what I decided to do with my hair-

New hair

You guys!  I look just like her!  Oh just kidding.  But this was one of my favorite covers in a long time, and I submit this as my tribute to one of my favorite actresses, Jennifer Connelly.  My color genius, Justin Kamm, helped me choose a warm, rich brown shade while weaving in a few lighter, almost auburn-flecked highlights (which I confidently declared as “toffee”) to add some dimension.  It will probably lighten up a bit over time, but I’m loving the change.  I feel like I need a bit more makeup with darker hair, but I can’t say I have a huge problem with that.  xo, MR