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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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How To: Seriously Beachin’ Waves

Loose, shine-free, textured waves are my favorite kind of hairstyle.  It’s fairly easy to replicate the look on myself because my hair has some natural wave to it, so the bias is obvious.  However, I do love the different which-ways you can make waves go, and I like their easy, laid-back feel.  My friends will tell you that one of the ways I express friendship is by “waving” your hair- I’m not kidding.  It’s the most relaxing process for me.  And just the word “wave” evokes peaceful memories of the ocean, and being a California girl, that’s never a bad thing.  Although, authentic “beach waves” with a bit too much salt going on can get a little crusty if we’re honest.  There’s a difference between looking like you spent a weekend at Laguna Beach or a year on an island with Tom Hanks in a loincloth.

When I create my own waves, I go by a couple tried-and-true tips so they don’t look too neat, but I do want to make sure they have plenty of body.  If you have curly hair, the general method is to blow your hair out straight first and then create the waves, but that’s a lot of heat and effort so I understand if you bypass this how-to with an annoyed eyeroll.  I’d encourage you to still give it a shot though, when you’ve got extra time just for fun!  If you have stick-straight hair, this may still work but you will probably want to crank the heat on your curling rod and a good dose of hairspray won’t hurt, either.  Regardless, see if this works for you too.  I love straightening my hair when I have time, though it’s a different kind of vibe with bangs.  Making my hair extra curly is the hardest for me, but it’s been really fun the few times I’ve executed it well.  Waves are just the easiest for my hair type, and here’s what I do to get them.

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Step 1:  Freshly washed hair works best, because you can rough dry it and give it serious volume.  I’ll wash and condition my hair, comb it through with a wide-tooth comb and a few sprays of Unite’s 7-Second Conditioner, and give it some time to air dry.  This allows at least a little natural texture to come through, which is good.  If I’m doing my makeup, I try to take this time to apply moisturizer and get my face makeup on while my bangs are still pulled back.  Once my bangs are dry and styled, it’s hard to do my makeup without messing up my bangs.

Step 2:  After my hair has had a little time to dry (think like, 60% dry), I’ll use a blowdryer to rough dry it the rest of the way.  No brush required (except for the bangs, just a little bit)!  I’ll flip my head upside down and all that, and just kind of go at it until it’s dry.  You don’t want to lay a heat tool to it while it’s still damp at all, or you’ll basically boil your hair.  After it’s dry, I spray some more heat protectant on it and let that settle for a minute.

Step 3:  I wave my hair in three sections- bottom, middle, and top.  I’ll use a clip to keep the upper sections of my hair out of the way as I go.  Using the Hot Tools 1.25′ curling iron, I’ll take small chunks of hair (probably 1-inch sections) and wrap them around the iron.  The key is to not use the clamp; just wrap the hair around the iron and hold it there for a couple seconds.  When you wrap the hair, don’t wind it tightly around the iron; think more of a languid, ribbon-around-the-Maypole kind of wrap as opposed to tightly winding thread around a little spool.  You want these waves to be loose and lazy.  Also, I try to not wrap hair in the same direction every time.  I try alternate between wrapping forwards and backwards, although if you wrap in all one direction I actually don’t think it turns out that bad.  Another thing- I leave the ends out!  That’s a big part of the beachy feel; don’t wrap about the last inch of hair around the iron.

Now, I suppose you could just use a curling rod for this whole process, but the results with a rod are almost a bit too precious from my experience.  The best rod I know of is the Sarah Potempa BeachWaver, but Hot Tools costs a fraction of the price and they yield the same results in my opinion.

Step 4:  Time to apply texture product!  As you curl each section from bottom to top (and by curl, I really mean wave), liberally mist a dry texture spray all over the waves you’ve created.  I like Bumble and Bumble’s Thickening Dryspun Finish and Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray.  Spray it into the roots and, as you go through each section, flip your head upside down and shake out your waves with your hands.  Additionally, take another texturizing product that isn’t dry, like Living Proof’s Instant Texture Mist, and apply it to the ends.  I spray some of this into my hands (because it can be sticky) and scrunch it into the midlengths and ends.  I love the effect of this particular product; it gives a piecey-ness to the look.  You can also try a wet sea spray like Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Infusion like I did this time; it has moisturizing oils in it so it not only gives that beach effect to my ends but it also moisturizes them, which is nice after all the heat styling.  And it has just enough sea salt in it to not be too drying.

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A lot of people also like to add a mousse or some other volumizing product before they begin rough drying, but my personal experience has been that applying stylers after drying my hair is the most effective.  I get plenty of volume with a dry texture spray, but if you have success with a product applied to wet hair, by all means go for it.

The nice thing about this style is that it tends to hold up pretty well the next day.  You can always go back over sections with the curling iron again, too.  And dry texture spray also functions as a dry shampoo; that stuff is seriously the gift that keeps on giving and is by far my favorite hair innovation of the past five years.

Let me know if you try this or these products, and tag me in your pictures if you do!  xo, MR

An Autobiographical Top Shelf

This post is done in the style of Into The Gloss’s Top Shelf feature, which I’ve been obsessed with for about five years now.  So basically, I’m pretending I’m being interviewed by Emily Weiss on all the products I love, in my own home, complete with “professional” photos/selfies.  Fake it ’till you make it, right?

My routine is hard to explain briefly.  I’ll say this, though- I am not low maintenance when I don’t have to be.  There’s no shame in that.  I’m addicted to haircare, skincare, makeup, all that, but I really don’t afford myself much time to enjoy it on a daily basis.  I either want to spend an hour getting ready just the way I like, or I want to be out the door in five minutes.  All or nothing.  It’s part of how I appreciate beauty- I hate doing any of it halfheartedly.  One of my least favorite things is when I try to quickly wiggle on some mascara in the morning on the way to work and then it turns out all sloppy and incomplete by my standards.  It’s not worth it.  I’d rather bite the bullet and go bare.

SKINCARE

So, what I do depends on the day.  If I have time, I start from the bottom layer and work up, though I try to make the skincare thing happen every day.  I typically begin with a serum, and I’ve decided Caudalie’s S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum is the best.  I tried Shiseido’s Ultimune, but I like Caudalie’s better for the money.  It feels so fresh on my skin, sometimes I forget to put on moisturizer afterwards.  It’s been hard to pin down a great moisturizer for me because I’m always looking for something natural, but effective and with SPF that doesn’t leave a weird residue.  I’ve been using Origins A Perfect World Moisturizer these past couple months.  It smells amazing and has SPF 25.  I’ve also like Desert Essence’s Daily Essential Defense Moisturizer from Sprout’s or Whole Foods, but it wouldn’t absorb well when it was hot out so I continued my hunt.  When I checked out Origins, the lady helping me gave me a quick facial and she talked me into the toner from the same line.  I haven’t used toner in forever because I feel it’s unnecessary and drying, but this stuff felt tingly and actually left my skin moisturized.  There’s a lot of white tea in it.  We’ll see if I keep it up.

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For face wash, I alternate between Origins and Desert Essence, which is entirely made of oils and some castile soap.  It sounds basic, but there’s a ton of random stuff in it like bladderwrack extract and goldenseal root extract that I hadn’t even heard of before using it.  For a night cream, I’ve been using Acure’s for a couple years and it’s really rich with lavender and chamomile.  It’s very calming.  I think they sell it at Target now, but it’s been at Whole Foods forever.  For zits, I’m pretty faithful to Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion.  My husband loves it too.  I try to just leave zits alone for the most part these days; I find that doing anything to try and “heal” them just aggravates them or doesn’t quicken their disappearance.  Sometimes I’ll do a mask if I’m just watching Netflix late at night.  I’ll use Lancome’s Hydra Intense Masque.  It’s super cooling and smells amazing; I love putting on some I Love Lucy and having a late-night snack when I do a mask.  Best ritual ever!  I’ll also use Origins’ Clear Improvement charcoal mask for porous areas; the lady who gave me the facial at Origins gave it to me for free!  I like face wipes too, and my favorite are the Yes To Cucumbers kind.  I can’t tell you how many packs of those my mom has jammed into my Christmas stocking over the years.  I buy them in bulk at Target.

The one thing that’s still sort of a mystery to me is eye cream.  I like ones that are cooling and depuffing, and I like rollerball kinds best because they’re more sanitary than dabbing your finger into a jar of cream and then putting it on your eye.  Simple Skincare makes a good one, as does First Aid Beauty, but I don’t know.  I’m just not there yet.

HAIR

My hair stylist knows I’m a major product addict.  The funniest thing has been when I’ve asked him about products from lines that he uses before they’re even out yet or before he’s heard about them!  I read about hair stuff in magazines and then I want to go out and try it.  New hair products are what I get most excited about, so I’ve tried a lot but I can finally say I have favorites.  I wash my hair every three or four days, and I alternate between two shampoos.  I’ve been using Rahua’s shampoo for over three years now, and it’s pricey but I feel absolutely no guilt using or purchasing it because it’s so natural.  There’s really no soap in it.  It’s another product made up mostly of oils.  I’ll use another shampoo every other wash, typically an Aveda one like their Color Conserve or Dry Remedy.  I’ll try anything for conditioner.  I’ve been obsessed with conditioners since my late teens because I was always trying to find ones that would make my hair grow or repair it, but I don’t really believe conditioner does that anymore.  I’ve used one from Davines for a long time called Momo; I love it.  I’ll also ask for Kerastase samples from my friend who works at a L’Oreal salon because I can’t afford Kerastase, but their deep conditioners have the craziest reputations so I’m always desperate to try them.  I also like Alterna, mostly their treatments from their Caviar line.  They’re good for when I want to grow my hair out.  I use Unite’s 7 Seconds Leave-In Conditioner to detangle with a wide-tooth comb after I wash, but I think I like Bumble and Bumble’s Prep spray better for this.  I’ll go back to it after I run out of the Unite.  The Prep spray has hops and rosemary, the latter of which is good for lice prevention.  I work around kids, and lice is one of those things that you can’t really avoid if you’re in that environment.  It’s part of life, so you just have to do what you can.  Tea tree oil works well for this too, by the way.

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For styling, I’m a sucker for anything to do with texture.  Living Proof’s Instant Texture Mist is great for giving that pliable “chunk” feel that I love for hair, and I also like Bumble And Bumble’s stylers like their Dryspun Finish and Cityswept Finish.  If it mattifies, gives texture, or extends a blowout, I’ll try it.  Anything for the second- or third-day hair look.  I like Oribe’s Apres Beach Wave And Shine Hairspray too, though my hair does “beachy” really well on it’s own.  I love Oribe’s products for their scent.  And the best dry shampoo in the world is Klorane’s, hands down.  The non-aerosol kind has stretched out so much time between washes for me.  It can make your scalp itchy if you put too much on and don’t brush it out, but it’s still the best.  The drugstore kinds suck.  If I want a smooth or blown-out look I’ll use R&Co’s Jackpot Styling Creme.  The scent is intense but it stretches out my hair beautifully, and the effect lasts around three days.

I got into the R&Co stuff because my salon started carrying it.  I go to Salon 9 in Orange, and I’ve been going to Justin Kamm for nearly ten years!  He’s a genius.  He teaches workshops and is part of the cutting team for Davines.  We finally, FINALLY cut my hair past my shoulders just this weekend.  I’ve always had my hair long or mid-length, because I love long hair and I love playing with it.  I miss topknots and ponytails and long waves, but the bob that Justin gave me feels so right.  It’s good to do at least once, and I’m surprised at how comfortable I feel with it.  I feel reeeeeally French.  And the best part is, all those texture products work so well with this cut.  I still put a bit of wave in it with my Hot Tools iron, but roughing it up with some kind of product gives it that grit that I’m always after.

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MAKEUP

Makeup is tricky.  I’ve tried a ton, but over the years I’ve come to find that I’m actually really picky and haven’t tried quite as much as other people (which is encouraging).  Makeup is expensive, and I take forever to run out of anything so buying too much is a really wasteful choice for me.  I don’t use primer much, but I like BeneFit’s The Porefessional when I do makeup for brides.  It feels silky.  I like to use Clarins’ Beauty Flash Balm on myself and then immediately put on powder or foundation once it absorbs.  I prefer this to primer.  It sort of gives skin a brightening effect.  For foundation, I love Bare Minerals’ Original SPF Foundation because it still leaves a glow.  I don’t like a matte skin finish; I’m all about dewy skin and mattified hair.  The opposite feels too Vegas or Miss America for me.  If I want a liquid foundation, Lancome’s Teint Miracle is nice but I still haven’t landed on a favorite.  I just don’t think I like liquid foundation.  I even have a BB Cream that I like but I just don’t use it too often.  You can’t escape the feeling of liquid makeup on your face, which I hate.  I immediately want to take it off.  Concealer is nearly always Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Eclat in Luminous Vanilla.  I used to hate it, and I’m not sure why.  It’s the most lightweight formula I can find that still gives coverage.  However, I’m not too concerned anymore with getting rid of dark circles anymore because for some reason, I like them now.  They seem to give a touch of character.  A heavy concealer under the eyes looks too finished for me.  You need that bit of wear in your face.

NARS Bronzer in Laguna is pretty standard, and I’ll try almost any blush.  NARS has the best ones.  I’ve liked their creme formula in Lokoum for a long time but I think it’s discontinued.  Their other powder shades are bonkers; I love Exhibit A and Liberte.  MAC has a gorgeous one from their Mineralize line called Warm Soul.  It super pretty for everyday, but mineral blush on top of mineral powder it can make your skin look funny.  I like it on bare skin.  MAC’s Plum Foolery is also good; I wore it for my wedding day and my mom wears it, too.  I have a couple Chanel blushes too, but I hate to admit that I bought them because they were honestly just too expensive and frankly, MAC and NARS make better ones.  The Chanel ones have perfume in them.  You feel glamorous putting them on, but they’re a murderous, stupid splurge.  Spend that kind of money on groceries or not at all, for God’s sake.

Eye makeup is a journey for me.  I take forever to decide what I’m going to do with my eyes.  Eyeshadow feels like such a commitment, which is probably why I wear it the least out of anything.  It’s takes me a lot of time and concentration, and I always need to put shadow primer on if I’m going to do it because it makes such an undeniable difference.  I think I like purple shadows on myself best.  It’s just enough of an interesting color to feel special, and it does wonders for brown eyes.  MAC’s Sketch and Embark are good.  I bought the Embark because it’s the closest thing I could find that matches this special edition Victoria’s Secret eyeshadow I have.  Christian Siriano from Project Runway did a collection for them a long time ago and it included this eyeshadow that is literally perfect.  It’s matte, smooth, has amazing concentration, and is this deep purple-brown shade called Royalty that, of course, ended with the collection.  I’m going through it really slowly, but I love using it for smokey eyes.  A lot of that stuff with a ton of MAC’s kohl liner in Feline, and boosh- I feel like Catwoman.  If I’m really going for it I’ll use Urban Decay’s eye pencil in Vice, too, and smudge it out.  The best is when a smokey eye looks sweaty and sparkly, like a hazy night at Studio 54 in 1978. This pencil does that.  Oh and my mascara is pretty much exclusively CoverGirl.  I swear, theirs are the best.

Lips are simple.  I do very little, unless it’s something like a red lip.  I like lip colors that look like just a bit of something, because I usually like to focus on my eyes.  A lot of times it’s just a few swipes of Burt’s Bees.  Everything I like tends to be pinky-nude.  I’ve liked Dior’s Addict lipstick in Tulle, L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Balm in Nourishing Nude, and Yves Saint Laurent’s Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain in Nude Provocateur.  I guess I gravitate toward balm stains, or gloss balms, or all those hybrid formulas we see these days.  Nothing too lipstick-y.  An exception would be NARS’ lip pencils.  Those are brilliant.

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Oh!  I almost forgot about brows.  I use one thing- CK One’s Brow Pencil and Gel Duo in Crafty Raven.  I like thick, groomed eyebrows, but I hate how many rules and standards there are with them these days.  They have to be perfectly shaped, tapered, filled in, not too thin, all that.  I’m not into it, and same goes for the contouring craze.  It’s just too much, too Kim with all the banana powder and shading and all that.  I’m not into tricks that transform your face into another face, though it’s cool that it can be done.  I like to look like myself, but with a bit of a wink I guess.  That’s the best for me, at least.  xo, MR