Will Blog For Eyeshadow

It’s been a while, but that’s okay. Busyness and work leave little time for blogging. However, my eyes are never too busy to miss the awesomeness that shows up on the red carpet in the form of seriously bonkers eyeshadow. I mean it people- this holiday season, PLEASE stay away from the neutral tones. If it’s Christmas and I see you wearing basic eyeshadow, I might get mad. ‘Tis the season to be purple. At the very least.

Let’s take a tour of possibilities, all of which have occurred within the last two months.

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Dark, navy eyeshadow is my fave. I mean it. If I could do my wedding all over again, I’d wear a mermaid silhouette and do a smoky navy eye. My preference is a matte finish over a sparkly one, but who cares. You can thank Carol Gonzalez for this magnificent job well done on Kerry Washington. My guess is she used a Pat McGrath Labs palette.

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I feel like the only eyeshadow color we see less than green is canary yellow. Yellow – not gold – is so under-appreciated! Pati Dubroff created this look on Margot Robbie using a couple MAC products, including Chromaline gel/cream shadow in Primary Yellow. I love that it’s applied all the way up to Margot’s brow for a really modern take.

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Jennifer Connelly is another example of the wonders of blue eyeshadow. It’s not just for pageant girls, people! And it comes in an infinite variety of tones. Kay Montano used a  silvery-but-vivid blue on Jennifer’s inner eyelids here, with what look like purple tones on the outer lid and around the rim. I love how her nearly blue-black hair makes the blue shadow stand out even more, especially with the dress. Coupled with the brows and everything else left bare, we’ve got perfection.

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Winged eyeshadow! Nothing says, “My allegiance lies with Imperator Furiosa” quite like winged, black eyeshadow. This is one of my favorite likes to try and recreate on myself, personally. I love looks that feel strong and ferocious like this, especially when paired with sleek hair. Jillian Dempsey has consistently turned out a killer smoky eye, typically on Kristen Stewart. This turned out perfectly; the blending is smooth as a milkshake.

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And because you know smoky eyes are pretty much my kryptonite … here’s another one! Georgie Eisdell managed to pull off what’s probably the most flawless version of the iconic look I’ve ever seen. I mean, ever. This is the makeup I’d die in. There’s such an incredible depth to Elizabeth’s shadow, with what could be four different shades used. Georgie used exclusively Chanel products to create this look. She doesn’t name which eyeshadow palette it is, and it might be one that hasn’t come on the market yet. Nevertheless, I’ve been searching like a crazy person.

What do you plan to do this year for holiday makeup? Any palettes or products you plan to try? Let me know in the comments! xo, MR

 

Photo credits by order of appearance and all are user Instagram handles: @carolagmakeup, @patidubroff, @kaymontano, @jilliandempsey, @georgieeisdell

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Best Of The 2017 Academy Awards

And here we are, once again!

This is technically the fifth Academy Awards that I’ve blogged and it’s my favorite post each year.  I’ve had a lot going on this evening work-wise so this post has been a process of constantly refreshing my phone before and after in attempts to get some quick peeks at attendees as they’ve arrived on the red carpet.  Not ideal, but I’m making it work.

A couple notes- Firstly, I’ve seen more impressive red carpets.  We were doing really, really good during this awards season but we seem to have pumped the brakes a bit.  I had hoped to see more bold color and risk-taking tonight.  We saw mostly gold and other soft metallics, and Janelle Monae was probably our only kooky-crazy gown.  I only noted a bit of red and perhaps just Scarlett Johannson’s pretty purple.  Secondly, Natalie Portman did not attend tonight’s ceremony because she’s in her third trimester of pregnancy.  I mean, whatever, okay, FINE.  But in all seriousness, I was bummed because I know she would’ve shown up looking glorious but I guess third trimester pregnancy merits some rest and a break from uncomfortable shoes and everyone staring at you.  OKAY, NATALIE.

And finally, I can’t seem to find Amy Adams!  Has anyone seen her?!  I looked all over social media and I did the Google, and she appears to be nowhere.  I do concur, by the way, that it was wrong of the Academy to nominate Meryl Streep over Amy this year, but I’d thought she’d surely attend tonight to support Arrival!  I also missed seeing Cate Blanchett. She wasn’t involved in much this year, but she always wears the best stuff.

And so with that, on to my favorites!  And again, a reminder- It might be a great dress but if the styling doesn’t appeal to me, it doesn’t make my list!  And it might be a cooky/ugly dress but if the styling streamlines the look and makes sense of it all, it might make my list!

Best This-Person-Would-Look-Good-In-A-Burlap-Sack – Charlize Theron in Dior

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Charlize is the one woman who has made my Best Dressed list every year she’s attended the Academy Awards.  I get that it’s hard to make someone of her features look bad, but despite how we may feel we all know that it can be done.  I think that’s one of the reasons why I’m continuously so impressed with her- she always knocks it out of the park and keep things classic and beautifully flattering, and doesn’t rely on her physical beauty to carry a look.  She still makes the right choices.  Her styling is always glamorous but simple, and her contract with Dior has probably been the most successful partnership I’ve seen between a celebrity and fashion house.  This particular gown looks like liquid gold and those earrings are bonkers!

Best Overall Because LOOK AT HER – Taraji P. Henson in Alberta Ferretti

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I mean, okay. OKAY. There is literally nothing wrong with this whole thing.  There is no flaw.  At the SAG Awards, Taraji seemed to have her frothy, feminine fantasy moment.  But she wasn’t having any of that tonight and THIS look is just about as sexy as it gets in my opinion.  No, not in my opinion.  IN ALL REALITY EVER.  This neckline with that slit all in deep blue velvet (scratching my David Lynch itch, Cookie!) with those diamonds and that haircut is just deadly.  Deadly, I say!  Taraji looks like she was just poured into this dress like an expensive glass of the finest champagne.  She has never looked better. I can only pray I come across an occasion where I have to wear something this glamorous in my lifetime.

Most Welcome New Darling Of The Fashion World – Ruth Negga in custom Valentino

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So, I think Ruth Negga likes clothes.  I mean, I think she really likes them.  Most new actresses that arrive on the scene tend to play it rather safe for a couple years before taking a couple risks once they get a high-profile stylist or a new haircut or something like that.  Or they wait for a contract with a fashion house and suddenly every dress seems to be wearing them and not the other way around (paging Jennifer Lawrence …).  Such has not been the case for Ruth Negga (or Lupita Nyong’O, the other exception in this case).  Right out of the gate, Ruth has been a person made for fashion.  She clearly loves the artistry of clothes-making, and she appreciates unique and sometimes quirky pieces.  I loved this Victorian style custom Valentino gown she wore.  It was similar to what Ginnifer Goodwin wore, but Ruth’s seemed to have a more Gothic feel.  Her makeup and hairpiece matched the mood, too.

Best Old Hollywood Throwback – Emma Stone in Givenchy Haute Couture

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As I write this, they’ve only just announced the winner of the Best Supporting Actress (go Viola!) and so we’ve yet to learn if Emma will indeed win in tonight’s Best Actress category. I have a feeling she will, and this is a lovely dress to win in.  I love Emma’s 1920’s style dress paired with very 1940’s hair and makeup.  It really is a very classically beautiful look. I was hoping to see more color on Emma during this awards season, but for what we’ve lacked in color her styling team has made up for in texture.  Fringe, glittering stars, floral appliqués- we’ve seen plenty of gorgeous handicraft in the texture department on Emma this year.  I did like her look when she attended the 2015 Academy Awards for Birdman more than tonight’s look – I loved her updo paired with the chartreuse gown and coral lips – but this is still nothing short of stunning and worthy of a winner. I’m getting some Rita Hayworth vibes with her hair, too.

Best Holy Cleopatra Batman! – Jessica Biel in Kaufmanfranco

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I told you there was a lot of gold this year!  I wasn’t kidding!  But I have to say, this is my personal favorite.  Don’t you dream of wearing dresses like this?  I mean seriously. That necklace is incredible, and the gown reminds me so much of Nefertiri in The Ten Commandments.  Nefertiri was probably the first woman in film that I idolized and wanted to look like and dress like as a child.  Of course, I was supposed to be drawn to the humble shepherd girl played by Yvonne De Carlo, but that would take some Mount Sinai-levels of convincing throughout my adolescence and beyond.

But anyhow, this dress had me.  And the necklace.  And the styling!  I love Jessica’s bold cat-eye made with thick eyeliner (again, Cleopatra!) paired with peachy lips and cheeks.  I also love the sleek updo with the center-part in Jessica’s deep brown-black hue.  I can’t wait to get a view of the back!  And again, if you know me, you know I like it when something’s just a bit off. In this case, it’s hairstylist Adir Abergel’s genius work with this updo- it’s totally off-center on purpose.  It adds characters and just barely tweaks the perfect symmetry of the center-part.  Details like this that play with shape and balance are my favorite; details of color and texture are a close second.

So there you go!  Now tell me your faves!  Anything you hated?  Anything you hoped for but didn’t see?  And don’t forget, there are always the after-parties with plenty of gown changes and extra folks who just weren’t important enough to invite to the awards ceremony.  Have fun!  xo, MR

 

Photo credits in order of appearance:  Getty Images, Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, Noel West for The New York Times, Getty Images

Makeup For A Night Out- My Friend Meg

It’s been way too long since I’ve done someone’s makeup for a special occasion; my last real client was before our move out here!  The only thing that’s come close is when I had the pleasure of doing a trial run for a beautiful girl attending her senior prom here in Illinois, but her plans fell through at the last minute.  So, since July of last year, it’s really just been me tending to my own face (which begets way too many selfies, let me tell ya).

So you can imagine my excitement when my friend Meg, whom I’d gotten to know through church, asked me to help her with both makeup and hair!  I admit I was a little nervous because it had been so long, but I was too excited to work with someone again to let the nerves bother me.  Meg was attending a benefit event for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and the cocktail attire dress code provided the perfect excuse to play around.

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I prepped Meg’s skin with Glossier’s Super Bounce serum, which perhaps turned out to be her favorite product we used that day.  Luckily, even though I’d brought my own kit with me, Meg had an amazing arsenal of her own with plenty of great stuff to choose from.  We primed her skin with Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer, and then I used a Beauty Blender to evenly apply Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Stick in Beige all over.  After a dusting of BareMineral Original Foundation in Light to set it, I used Meg’s two Cle de Peau concealers to the undereye area as well as around the nose and lips.  If I can name one area on the face that always gets overlooked when it comes to concealer, it’s the nose area.  The skin around your nostrils and at the bottom of your nose almost always suffers from discoloration; a good concealer on these spots has a real lifting and brightening effect.  To set the undereye concealer, I used Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder.

For Meg’s eyes, I stuck with some of my most trusted friends- MAC eyeshadows in Shroom and Cork, and my Dior 5-Couleurs Eyeshadow palette in Earth Reflection.  I used the two brown shades in the Dior palette, along with the pearly-white one for the brow bone and inner corners of the eyes.  The hardest part of makeup for me, to this very day, is properly blending multiple eyeshadows.  I really try to get a look at the eyes from all angles and in both natural and artificial light; I tried to take my time getting this just right because unblended eyeshadow is truly painful to behold (and here’s a tip- shimmery shadows are much more forgiving than matte ones when it comes to blending).  I lined Meg’s eyes with my BFF- Christian Siriano for Victoria’s Secret eyeshadow in Royal- and I don’t know what I’ll do when it finally runs out because I’ve yet to find anything quite like it.  For lashes, we used multiple layers of Meg’s Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara.

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I did a bit of contouring with Kat Von D’s Shade and Light Palette, and used Chanel’s blush in In Love for cheeks.  I added a bit of highlighting using MAC’s Mineralize SkinFinish on the top of the cheekbones, and a touch of a pearly NARS cream shadow to the cupid’s bow.

Finally, for lips, Meg prepped them with MAC’s Prep + Prime.  We then used Laura Mercier’s lipliner in Natural Lips topped with NARS Velvet Satin Lip Pencil in Bahama- this is the perfect dusty brick-rose with just enough color to be a “statement lip” without needing to be fire-engine red or something.  We had her pack a clear gloss with her along with the pencils, just for extra moisture.  To set everything and give the whole look a diffused effect, I dusted Meg’s face all over with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light.

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As for hair, I’d known for a while that I basically wanted to take inspiration from Ahn Co Tran and go for waves with lived-in texture.  This is my favorite look, and frankly, it’s one that I know I can replicate fairly well on others.  Meg has a midlength bob so I knew this texture would be perfect for her cut.

I used my tried-and-true technique of wrapping one-inch sections of hair around a 1.25-inch curling iron, without using the clamp and always leaving the ends out.  If you try this, try to wrap sections loosely so you don’t get a wave or curl that is too tight.  As I progressed through her hair (and I did it in three layers, working from the bottom up), I’d separate any waves that were too big or tight and finish with a generous mist of Bumble and Bumble’s Dryspun Texture Finish- better than Oribe!  I also sprayed Living Proof’s Instant Texture Mist into my hands and worked it into Meg’s hair, too; the Texture Mist provides bouncy hold and sort of acts like a spray-gel, but better.

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I kept laughing because Meg kept saying how I understand “the bend”- no one wants their hair truly curled these days, we all just want it to have that awesome “bend” that looks chic and lived in!  It’s the best!

One adorable Majè jumpsuit later and Meg was ready!

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I had such an awesome time playing around with this sweet mama- she looked amazing and I was so happy with how much she enjoyed the whole process!  I can tell you that it’s so much more fun with the client is interested and curious about what you’re doing, from the skin prep to the final touches.  And I was truly happy to finally lend someone a beautifying hand on the North Shore- it’s about time!  xo, MR

My beautiful bride Michelle … or, my bride that looked like Ariel.

Michelle (or Meesh, as I’ve known her for a few years now) has probably one of the greatest senses of humor you’ll ever encounter.  I’ve loved and known Meesh since high school, and the first thing I can remember doing around her is laughing.  Trust me- there’s nothing like finding a friend who can belt Duran Duran’s Rio at the top of your lungs together with you in high school, and my relationship with her has remained relatively similar all this time.  Meesh is resourceful and creative as a friend, and cheerful and outgoing in her nature.  It was a blessing to have her stand with me as a witness to my own wedding vows, and it was an honor to be there for hers.  But what concerns me here the most, of course, is the pleasure I had in doing her bridal makeup!

Meesh has some awesome facial features that I was so excited to highlight for her wedding.  She has huge blue eyes, adorable cheeks, and beautiful princess hair.  Meesh requested that we use a very bright blush I own for her day- NARS’ Exhibit A, which actually is the product that served as the inspiration for this blog’s title!  This blush was perfect for complementing Meesh’s beaming expression that she carried with her all day.  For her eyes, I used an ultra-flattering Chanel shadow in Taupe Grise’ and a MAC shadow in Embark for deeper contouring.  I applied some gel liner (Bobbi Brown‘s, of course) to her upper lids and on her inner-lower lids, and then applied some awesome false lashes (which Meesh is a huge fan of on a regular basis).  For lips, we kept it simple and I applied a basic, clear gloss from Chanel in Plaisir.  The right shade of Bare Minerals also perfected her overall complexion- I swear by that stuff for life, there’s no greater product that I’ve found for any skin type or tone.  You can trust it for your wedding day, without a doubt.

 Top it off with some MakeUpForEver HD Finishing powder (as I’ve used on every bride), and we’re good to go!  She looked like Ariel!  Stunning!!

Meesh and Justin’s wedding day was in August, and I’ll always remember it as one of the hottest days in which we’ve had to remain somewhat pretty throughout its entirety.  After dancing, sweating, and running around through all the excitement that weddings bring, I have to say that Meesh held up like a champ!  Her hair, her makeup, everything- it all hung in there, and I was really worried about the stability of  my makeup under such heat.  In fact, I’d say we all did pretty well!

Whitney, my April bride, was a bridesmaid for Meesh as well!  I kind of “coached” her in applying her own makeup so that I could keep my hands free for the bride, and Whit did a beautiful job on her own.  She’s really been picking it up!

I so appreciated Meesh’s thankfulness for my work.  She posted my very first review on weddingwire.com for me, and she made it so clear to me how beautiful she felt on that day.  Nothing could bless me more as an artist, and I could not agree more with how truly, truly beautiful she was and is!  xo, MR

All photography is credited to Amanda Doublin.  For more of her work and a full post on Meesh and Justin’s day, check her out at http://www.amandadoublin.com

She sells sea smells by the seashore.

I’d never been much of a girl for summer, but since my appreciation for fashion in all its seasons has grown, I’ve begun appreciating the varying climates and environments that inspire designers more and more. I’ve evolved into a woman for all seasons these past couple years, and now I can’t enough of whatever it is … sunshine, rain, crisp breezes, fog (just not wind).

My favorite times of summer consist of taking a drive to the beach by myself, packing a couple mags, and bringing a couple favorite beauty products of mine that tend to do simply two things: moisturize and smell like vacation. But other than that, I won’t wear a drop of makeup to the beach. Slather on the sunscreen, and brother that is it.

Monoi Tiki Tahiti Tiare is an oil product that smells nothing short of divine. I found it at a Mother’s Market and it’s a little escape in a bottle. I’ve only recently fallen in love with the idea of tropical places (because for so long I was strictly a forest girl), and now I can’t get enough of scents that transport me to pristine beaches of golden sand. You can put this stuff in your hair and all over your skin, and it solidifies under 68 degrees. Deeeee-lish.

I typically favor neutral nail colors, as seen here on my fingers (Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Honey Whip). I chose a similar color for my wedding day and just used it instead of French tips or acrylics. I don’t know why, but I just can’t get into what I call ‘add-ons’, like hair extensions or acrylic nails. I even had a hard time with false eyelashes at first, but I couldn’t argue with what they did for pictures.

I’ll go a little more dramatic on my toes for some pop. This one’s Chanel Le Vernis in Black Pearl, from the Spring 2011 collection. And that’s a picture of Jessica Alba with a faboosh topknot. Can’t get enough of those things. xo, MR