Bachelorette Beauty-Palooza!

Ah, the Bachelorette.  The tears (“I can’t control my emotions right now!”), the destination dates (someone should’ve told Alex to take off that Argentinian gaucho hat), the scapegoats (seriously, Chad was one of the only sane guys there), the dudes who all look exactly the same and who are white, one hundred percent of the time, when it comes to the final four contestants of each season.

This current season featuring Joelle “JoJo” Fletcher is one out of just two Bachelor/Bachelorette seasons that I’ve watched in the past decade.  I think I watched a Bachelor season with a contender named Moana in it years and years ago in high school, so it barely counts.  And in 2014, when my curiosity was piqued once more, I finally decided to tune again only to bear witness to the ridiculousness that was Juan Pablo Galavis, a Bachelor who has largely gone on to be known as one of the most hated in the franchise.  I can’t tell you how many friends said to me, “Oh, yeah, this is a really bad season to start watching again.”

But what actually kept me watching the dreaded Juan Pablo season didn’t really have anything to do with him.  By the sixth episode I couldn’t have cared less who he chose, but you know what I did care about?  Sharleen Joynt’s eyebrows.  And Andi Dorfman’s ombre.  And Nikki Ferrell’s waves.  And Sharleen’s lipsticks.  Yes, I continued watching this dumpster fire of a season (at least, until the final two) for the amazing parade of positively sensational hair and makeup.  And during this current season, JoJo has been quite the parade float, too.

d5503151e81efe9a11215cda09752d92

I once read an article in a February 2014 edition of Allure magazine that spoke of how the women vying for the Bachelor’s heart have so much downtime, are so constantly bored (no Internet, no outside contact, no phones), and spend so much time together that the main chunk of their time ends up focused on doing one another’s hair and makeup.  I mean, can you blame them?  It’s likely that there are at least a few girls with skills in the house, there are no stylists (except for the final rose ceremony and first introductions, apparently), and with burdensome amounts of time on your hands and your main priority being attractive for one guy, you might as well keep that curling iron on at 400 degrees all day.

However, it’s different with the Bachelorette, who has an on-set makeup artist to help her with every big appearance.  And concerning JoJo, I’ve admittedly really liked her hair and makeup all season.  I do wish she would get a little more creative beyond the Victoria’s Secret mermaid waves she sticks to, but it sure never looks bad.

So, how exactly does one go about looking like a proper Bachelorette?  What does JoJo use?  And how about any tips from former Bachelor contestants?  You’ve gotta admit that the insane glamapalooza of the Bachelor and Bachelorette franchise is quite riveting, and it all makes you want to try a little bit harder for your everyday rose ceremony … er … day at the office.

1. JoJo does the ever-popular “Hot Tools 1.25 inch curling rod + Oribe Dry Texture spray = pretty waves” routine with her hair.  This routine has been described so many times in the hundreds of magazines I’ve read (including on instyle.com, where JoJo was interviewed).  This is even what I typically do with my own hair when I want to really “do” it (though JoJo’s hair manages to look ten billion times more professional than mine). If you’re still looking for a tool and a product to give you the waves you’ve desired, this should all tell you something.  It works.

I think JoJo probably uses the clamp on the curling iron while I avoid it.  Whereas I like a more languid, who-cares look by wrapping sections of hair around the iron with your fingers, actually using the clamp will yield a slightly more polished feel.  I think JoJo probably does the latter.  However, a nice dose of Oribe’s Dry Texture Spray will always do a good job of breaking things up and keeping anything from looking too precious.  I can’t tell you how many celebs have mentioned this product in interviews: Blake Lively, Scarlett Johansson, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, I could go on forever, baby!  And that’s to say nothing of the artists that use it (read: all of them).  I love the slight, tousled grit that this stuff gives your hair, with the addition of volume, a bit of oil absorption, and an amazing fragrance.  JoJo also uses a combo of Oribe shampoo and conditioner.

2. For Bachelor contestants, items or services that normally seem over-the-top for everyday life are non-negotiables for the show.  Imagine if you knew you were going to have no access to beauty services for at least a month or so, but you still had to look glamorous everyday.  Oh, and you’re going to be on camera.  Oh, and chances are you’re going to cry on camera, too.  What would you do?  Here are a few ideas: spray tans, eyelash extensions, Zoom whitening (with Crest WhiteStrips stocked up at the house), and Temptu airbrush makeup.  And I’m sure if this show had been around decades ago, they all would’ve been wearing chinstraps at night too.  Anything that’s going to have a long-lasting effect is a must.  Erica Rose, a season 9 contestant, mentioned eyelash extensions and airbrush makeup in an interview with with Allure magazine, and Courtney Robertson of season 16 and Catherine Giudici-Lowe mentioned WhiteStrips.  Additionally, JoJo mentions occasionally using clip-in extensions to help with volume, especially during rose ceremonies.

Interestingly enough, one thing many of the Bachelor contestants seem to avoid are acrylic or gel nails according to the aforementioned Allure article.  Sure, they last for a couple weeks or more, but if and when they chip, there’s nothing you can do about it.  Only professionals can manage such horrors, and since you can’t leave the mansion you’re stuck in, your nails are stuck too.

3.  JoJo’s routine for her makeup each day on the show was intense.  As in, four-full-paragraphs intense.  Like I said earlier, the Bachelorette gets to work with a makeup artist once a day- Gina Modica, who’s been a mainstay on the show.  Many of the following products used have been her go-to’s for multiple Bachelorettes, with minor variations on color products and the like.

According to an article for The Daily Mail, Modica starts JoJo’s routine with good skincare, including Glycelene’s Rejuvenation Cream, Beauty Serum, and Opalescent Eye Serum.  Another article tells us that JoJo layers Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster underneath her makeup for sun protection.  Modica, like many of the Bachelor contestants doing their own makeup, prefers using Temptu Air S/B Foundation for its long-wearing properties (and I can attest that this is a commonly requested product for bridal makeup), and she also uses the brand’s airbrush bronzer on JoJo.

According to an article on Flare.com, JoJo loves contour (shocker) and Modica uses NARS The Multiple in South Beach to achieve something subtle (and keep in mind that this is on top of bronzer). For highlighting, she used the ever-popular Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Creme in Champagne Pop in just a couple select places.  To set face makeup and to help with undereye circles, Modica cites Gorgeous Cosmetics Concealer in Medium (a brand I’d never heard of) and MAC’s Blot Powder in Medium Dark.  However, the Daily Mail article has Modica preferring Besame French Vanilla Brightening Powder for these purposes.  This was an interesting mention to me, as I usually see Besame cosmetics vetted by girls who fancy themselves as pinup, retro-ish types.  I’ve only ever seen Besame sold online or in vintage stores and I’ve never seen a non-victory-roll-wearing type of girl mention it, so it’s cool to see it used by a mainstream artist on a really mainstream show.  That means the stuff is legit and isn’t just loved for its cute, retro packaging.

For eyes, Modica credits Stila’s Stay All Day Brow Gel (and if it’s got any of the staying power of their liquid lipsticks, it works) and MAC’s Paint Pots in the Daily Mail article.  I can attest to the goodness of the Paint Pots; they make a great shadow primer or can be worn alone for something natural.  She also praises Chanel eyeliners and mascara in another article whose source I can’t remember.  To seal everything in (a priority, since we’re up against humid, tropical escapes and lots of tears here), Modica uses MakeUpForEver Aqua Seal Liquid Converter.  I wouldn’t even begin to know how this stuff works.

For lips, she recommends the following: Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro, Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Lacquer, Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick (which I actually think lacks great staying power), and MAC Velvetease Lip Pencils.  I’m surprised that none of the typical cement-lock liquid lipsticks were mentioned such as Stila’s Stay All Day or Kat Von D’s Everlasting for their all-day effect (though the Armani Ecstasy is supposed to be in that ballpark), but then again, shine on the lips is always more flattering, romantic, and camera-friendly than a matte finish.  I think we can also agree that matte liquid lipsticks just aren’t that comfortable, and they aren’t super kissable either.  And we can’t be having that since the priority here is making out on the daily with a harem of men.

IMG_2596

So to summarize, JoJo’s routine for the show each day was basically more than what I typically do for brides on their wedding day.  Totally real life, guys!

4.  It’s easy to find a lot of former contestants’ favorite beauty products because a LOT of them are now bloggers.  Pastels, lots of feminine typography, picture perfect families, the assumption that you most certainly will want to shop what they’re wearing- you know the drill.  And if they’re not a blogger, they’re building a decent following on Instagram and spilling a beauty detail or two there.

The following former Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants all have blogs now that feature multiple beauty posts: Jillian Harris, Ali Fedotowsky, Emily Maynard, Kaitlyn Bristowe, and Desiree Hartsock.  And this doesn’t include any of the lesser-known contestants that were let go of earlier in their seasons.  Longtime favorite and original Bachelorette Trista Rehn Sutter also has a website dedicated to her designs, her family, and a variety of other things beyond her own content.  Knowing what I like though, you can guess that I’m most excited about something like Emily’s all-time fave perfumes (V&R Flowerbomb, Kai, Tom Ford Black Orchid, etc) or Ali’s go-to foundation (Smashbox BB Water), even though I really know nothing about them and never even watched their seasons.

5.  I tried to replicate a similar look to JoJo’s more casual makeup, and here’s how it turned out.

FullSizeRender

To some this may still look fairly natural, but trust me, I’m wearing a lot of makeup.  I’m wearing a really good mattifying toner as a base for my makeup (Sunday Riley’s Martian) and I went with heaviest hitter in the foundation department – Lancome’s Teint Idole Stick Foundation, buffed out with a BeautyBlender.  I kinda dorked around with everything else- Kat Von D’s Shade and Light Palette for brightening powder and contouring, bronzer on top of all that, a rosy blush by Becca, still more highlighting with a NARS cream shadow, and NARS Creamy Radiance concealer for the undereye area.

I actually don’t have any neutral cream shadows at the moment (something that may need fixing?), so I used some shimmering browns from my Dior Earth Reflections palette. I don’t see much color on JoJo’s lower lids for date days (though I could be totally wrong), so I refrained. However, I applied lots of topliner, lots of mascara, and false eyelashes. Eyebrows are filled in with a pomade and set with Glossier Boy Brow (which is actually my norm these days). Lips are just like JoJo’s – Too Face Melted in Chihuahua, with a little extra shimmery gloss on the center of each lip. I’m going to try and leave this on all day to see if it actually lasts the way Modica believes, but I honestly feel like I’m wearing five layers of frosting on my lips.  They seriously feel sweaty, and it’s gross.  Oh well.  It’s for science.  And yes there is a filter on this picture.  You don’t really want to see the results of me quickly trying to contour my face without a filter.

I wondered what was so off about my overall appearance compared to JoJo’s aside from the obvious “she looks like her, I look like me” factor, and then I realized- she’s very tan.  And I, even in the dead of summer here, I am very much not.  Here, a very tan, very glamorous JoJo similar to what we’d find at a rose ceremony.

061716-jojo-fletcher

I’ve really enjoyed the platform for beauty that the Bachelor franchise has created.  I never can turn down a chance to explore the daily hair and makeup routines of women, but I will admit that the diversity of those women (and men) has largely remained an awkward point of conversation throughout the Bachelor’s existence.  Producers claim that the castings are based on the preferences of the season’s lead, and so if the lead states a preference for something like “tall, brunette guys with the personality of a banana” like we’re seeing this season, then apparently that’s the majority of what we’ll be seeing.

Still, I can’t help but think that it says something when we look at the fact that a nonwhite contestant has never made it to the final two (or even four, really?) on either show, and that a nonwhite person has only been cast once as the lead on either show (and who am I talking about, you ask?  Juan Pablo- he is Venezuelan).  In fact, two black men who tried out for The Bachelor attempted lawsuit with the claim that producers of the show bar people of color from ever receiving the primary roles, if even that.  The charges of racial discrimination were dismissed.

All this to say, race is just one of the issues that has plagued the phenomenon that is the Bachelor and Bachelorette franchise, and I can honestly say that it’s one of the (many) factors that has kept me from being a true fan and consistent watcher.  When we’re down to the final four and I can scarcely … and I mean scarcely … tell the guys apart, I’m kinda over it.  So, we’ll see what happens with next seasons, but for now, I’ll just be enjoying the Bachelor’s history for its plethora of great lipstick and hair choices.  And as far as this season goes, I’ll guess I’ll root for the tall brunette guy.  xo, MR

Photo Credits: First picture to JoJo Fletcher’s Instagram – @joelle_fletcher; fourth picture to Lester Cohen/Getty

WORST Beauty Moments of 2012 … or, in which I give cause for everyone to hate me.

Cool your jets.  Yes, I haven’t even said anything yet and I’m already telling you to cool your jets, just in case.

I initially began writing a post on my favorite beauty moments of 2012, but then I thought to my self, “Self, you’ve kind of sprinkled your favorite bits in posts throughout the entire year already.  No one’s shocked to see another shot of Keira or Kate on this blog.  What may be shocking though, self, is what folks discover that you actually don’t like.  And let’s face it, self- we’re always a little more interested at hearing about what bugs the crap out of us as opposed to what we squeal over.”  And admittedly, many of the “worsts” seen here may not be that shocking to some of you at all anymore.  If you read regularly, you know what I like and what I don’t.  But in case some of the following does take you by surprise and you find yourself wanting to set fire to me, let me just preface by saying this: Relax.  This is just me giving my opinion.

#1  Demi Lovato perfectly demonstrating my concept of “overcooked” and my eternal frustration with extensions.

Demi+Lovato+Makeup+Red+Lipstick+-GxvkZrtzudl

Too … much … everything.  I literally want to rip the extensions right out of her scalp.  Or brush them like a crazed maniac until they cease to look like Disney princess wig strands.  And if these are not, in fact, extensions, well, they look like it and that’s still a problem.  And the shape of the hair looks rather like pigtails with a life of their own as opposed to healthy, curled locks.  They’re so perfectly positioned, it’s like someone’s taped them to her blouse.  Just makes me wanna chop ’em.  Chop ’em right off.  And then there’s always the very makeup-looking makeup.  And the nose piercing.  And the tan.  And the door knocker earrings.  And the cleavage.  And you get it.

#2  Julianne Hough doing it wrong.

Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Rock Of Ages" - Arrivals

By now you all know that I love me a messy topknot.  I like ’em nice and unflattering, and right there at the top of the head.  So very Je ne sais quois, so very Man Repeller.  However, when you find yourself in a fancy dress at a fancy premiere, it might be time for a touch of effort.  But what gets me about this  particular topknot is that I’ve got a bad feeling that whatever stylist responsible for this (maybe even Julianne herself) tried too hard to not seem like they were trying too hard.  Know what I’m saying?  Like, I get the whole 21st-century irony of going for a messy topknot in a designer gown, but you can still detect the hard work that unfortunately went into this.  You see the pins.  You see the pretty, well-done makeup oddly-yet-intentionally juxtaposed against the haphazard hair.  You see how the knot is so obviously off-center on her head with its plainly uneven shape, almost as if it was planned.  The point of topknots is to not give a damn.  This one, all too clearly, does.

#3  People cut their hairs off.

Miley-Cyrus-Haircut-2-600-400

2012 New York City Ballet Fall Gala

I know, I KNOOOOOW.  But before you get your panties all in a wad, keep this in mind- I am simply very strongly attached to hair with length.  This one is truly more of a personal “worst”, and there’s no expectation to agree that Miley’s or Anne’s or anyone’s pixie cut is bad (and I wasn’t exactly a fan of Miley’s look before anyhow).  In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that these haircuts are quite good.  Anne looks great, and the cut does nothing if not frame her beautiful face and earn her that Oscar that she’s so desperately been jonesing for.  But again, just bear in mind that I’ve got a thing for long hair that you can do stuff with.  It’s just me.  I couldn’t do what Anne did, or I’d at least do it and then shamelessly plop a Kate Beckinsale wig on my head for the next six months to come.  In her own words, “I dreamed a dream of times gone byyyyyy, with lots of hair and lots of braidiiiiiiing …”.

#4  Taylor Swift still looking like Taylor Swift.

mtv emas press room 5 111112

Fine.  Hate me.  Hate me with everything you’ve got, but I don’t care.  It’s time for a change with this one, it is.  And this one looks like nothing if not Disney princesses personified, so you know that’s really saying something when it comes from me.  I applaud Taylor for sticking to her stylistic guns, but you’ll have to forgive me for saying that there’s just not enough excitement for me in her look.  I’m bored.  To tears.  Taylor made the Earth-shattering change of adding red lipstick to her look some years ago, then shocked the world by styling her hair straight instead of with those teenage curly-cues we were so used to!  THEN she cut BANGS!  What WILL she do NEXT?!  I mean, Nicki Minaj must’ve gotten a hold of her or something … BANGS!!!

#5  People pinning airbrushed, Photoshopped, Kim Kardashian-esque eyeshadow looks to their Pinterest boards.

look

Because nothing inspires more confidence in a makeup artist (for brides, no less) than seeing something like this and a caption below reading “PERFECT FOR WEDDING!!!  EXACTLY WHAT I WANT!!!!”.  Yes, you pin looks for the purpose of suggestion, for inspiration.  But bear in mind that the perfection typically exhibited on such images like the one above usually involves Photoshop editing, like that used for photo spreads in magazines.  It takes a steady hand to create this look, along with a steady few clicks of a mouse.  But I will, however, submit that I could recreate this look to the best of my abilities, given all the proper resources.  Just don’t freak out when you see a tiny bit of eyeshadow fall-out on your cheekbone, and relax!  I’ll have these with me!

#6  Speaking of Kim Kardashian …

kim-kardashian-face-contouring-lesson

Yes, Kim.  Thank you for the contouring tips.  But now that we all know that you have to paint A TREE on your face everyday to look the way you normally do as you stomp the pavement with Tracy Jordan Kanye West at your side, I can’t say that we’re all that interested anymore.  Or at least, I’m not.  And that tree on your forehead isn’t including the rest of the clown mask you’ve got going on there.  For the runway, yes.  For the pavement with Tracy Jordan, no.

#7  THIS IS NOT THE FACE OF SNOW WHITE.

snow-white-and-the-huntsman-emo-visions

This … I … I can’t even.  I.  CAN’T. EVEN.  Yes, I know we’re going for the face of the I-pull-myself-up-by-my-own-armored-bootstraps, I-play-in-the-mud-and-I-wield-a-sword-and-I-won’t-be-gender-stereotyped feminist Snow White.  And toward that I have no qualms.  But THIS is not even THAT face.  This face may have remained fixed with this EXACT expression for the entirety of the film (that so sorely disappointed me that I can hardly bear to discuss it).  And in fact, I’m pretty sure we can find this expression on Ms. Stewart’s face  throughout every other film she’s been featured in this side of FOREVER.  But the red lips, the alabaster skin, the hair a shade of raven’s black … I got none of it in Snow White and the Huntsman.  I get that the point wasn’t to Disney-fy Snow White in this case, but the look just wasn’t there.  I don’t know.  Maybe that’s the problem.  Maybe I just don’t know what I want, and maybe it’s not such a problem with the styling as it is with the confession that I just didn’t want her.

#8  Christina Aguilera looking like she rolled around in the MAC stockroom.

NBCUniversal's "The Voice" Press Junket And Cocktail Reception

We’ve already discussed this situation, so I won’t add much.  But the lavender ombre’ really caps it off for me.  It’s subtle, like a garlic sandwich.

#9  Justin Bieber looking prettier than Kate Beckinsale.

Justin-Bieber-AMA-Awards071

Those baby pink lips.  That perfectly smooth skin.  Those fluttery eyelashes.  Those immaculate eyebrows!  That shiny hair with those beautiful diamonds!  No, I’m not talking about a Victoria’s Secret Angel strutting her stuff in the Fantasy Bra on the catwalk, or some girl that George Clooney is seducing in Lake Como.  I’m talking about Justin Bieber.  Yes, this guy, the alleged heartthrob of this current generation of young teenage girls.  Maybe I’m just partial to the scruffy, rugged look, or maybe I’m not being patient and allowing puberty to catch up with ole’ Justin, or MAYBE I’m just NOT cool with the fact that this, *ahem*, young man so clearly spends more time in front of the mirror applying his Creme de la Mer and strawberry-scented Bonne Bell lipgloss than I ever have or ever will.

#10  And lastly, the kicker …

sock-bun-2

Um, ma’am?  Excuse me, ma’am?  You … you’ve got a sock on your head. I know you’ve shaped it into a purty little Cinnabon roll the size of a cabbage with your hair, but … you’ve got a sock on your head.  Oh, but I can’t see the sock?  Well, here’s the problem- I still know it’s there.  And it’s bothering me.  I want to poke it.  I want to poke it bad.  I want to shove my foot in your sock-hairs so I can keep warm in the winter cold.  Oh, you’ve cut a hole in that sock?  Well then lend it to me as a wristband for my awesomely sweaty workout.

Consider sock-buns the Bump-It of 2012.  Every time I saw some girl last year with a conveniently-placed tuft of volume at the top of her head, I so desperately wanted to play Whack-A-Mole and throw down a hammer on that bump just to see if it was some Bump-It impostor or if it was just real hair, teased and sprayed for height.  Same game goes for sock-buns this year.  Should you ever feel some bony finger poking your giant bun on the back of your head, I apologize in advance.  It’s just me being curious.

Welp, there you have it.  I’ve got a feeling I’ll be cranking out a “Best of” list sometime soon in order to make up for this one, but in the meantime, enjoy.  And you be sure to let me know if you’re feeling particularly enraged by any of the aforementioned.  I’ll send you a complimentary sock in the mail.  xo, MR