Because all of this was more exciting than the Golden Globes and SAGs combined.

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While starting to put together a post on this past week’s award ceremonies and the featured gowns (which is basically going to be called Lupita Nyong’O: Did you ever know that you’re my hero?), I was not-so-briefly interrupted and distracted by THIS.  This, ladies and gentlemen, if you know me, is all I ever want in makeup.  Reason Number One: Keira Knightley.  She is my personal reigning queen of makeup inspiration, and has been so for about four years.  Her makeup artist, Kate Lee, is some kind of crushingly brilliant genius that is lucky enough to have eyes and cheekbones like Keira’s as her muses.  Reason Number Two: a smokey eye.  When I want to “look good”, it’s what I go for first.  The shadow, the liner, the thick lashes, the whole package.  Reason Number Three: an off-beat smokey eye.  This particular smokey eye look is decidedly and undoubtedly blue.  Which is my absolute favorite thing ever.  This is exactly what I was going for when I did my makeup for a Victoria-era bridal shoot in the Mojave desert with my friend Bethany, but of course, it sort of destroys me to see it so perfected beyond my capabilities here.  Reason Number Four: an off-beat smokey eye completely balanced with neutral cheeks and lips.  Keira is perhaps wearing little more than lip balm and a light dusting of peachy blush, allowing the eyes to completely stand out.  This has been my strategy with this look as well.  There’s something incredibly sexy about entirely bare lips alongside a pair of over-the-top eyes.

I’ve done a little digging for the details on Keira’s look but I can’t manage to pull up any actual products.  I’m assuming they’re nearly all Chanel, and while I desperately want to know which shadows Kate used here, I assert that I own one that will cover this look well.  I’ve mentioned it before, but Urban Decay’s Perversion is the deepest, baddest shade of shimmery navy blue for probably a few bucks less than a Chanel palette.  My faith in my purchase was restored with one look at Keira’s eyes here.  I can tell there’s some dark silver going on on Keira’s lower lid too, but the blue shade is clearly the key.  One step at a time.

In other makeup news this week, I managed to find myself far more enamored with what was on celebrities’ faces than what garments were adorning their bodies at the Golden Globes and yesterday’s SAG Awards.  I mean, I suppose I can continue putting together my “best of” post for dresses, but to be honest, no one’s dress had me doing backflips.  Olivia Wilde’s and Lupita’s (at both events) had me doing, well, a somersault or two, but it’s always the close-up shots that get me drooling.  And such was the case with this one as well:

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Kate Mara’s shade prior to going light blonde was so incredibly beautiful that I’m still a little uncomfortable with her transition, even if it catapulted her into major cool girl territory (and can I confess that the faint thought of going in this direction has crossed my mind once or twice lately?).  But despite the new blonde hair and the cleavage-baring dress, I really, reeeeeeeeeeeally loved her makeup (and by now you’re probably seeing a pattern).  I’ve somehow managed to gain Kate Mara’s makeup artist as a follower on Instagram (!), and I appreciate Coleen Campbell-Olwell so much because she’ll actually respond to your questions.  For instance, the question What did you use for Kate Mara at the Globes?!?

“So sorry it took me a while to write this!  If you want a completely look please let me know!  Here is a quick run-down, and thank you so much!  I used Orlane Super Moisturizing Light Cream; this is a stample in my kit.  Chanel Vitalumiere foundation, Antonym (vegan) waterproof black liner to line the top and bottom waterline, then Tarte eyeshadows in navy blue and grey.  I didn’t apply any false lashes, just two coats or Orlane Volume Care mascara in black … it’s awesome!  I then dabbed Orlane Highlight Care Blush above the cheekbones and along the lipline to add a nice highlight.  No color on the lips; just lip balm!  Oh and for the brows … DiorShow BrowStyler in Universal Brown.” – Coleen

Well, yeehaw!  And to top it off, I ventured to ask Julia Roberts’ makeup artist for the Globes, Genevieve Herr, what she used on the actress for her eye makeup as well.  The response wasn’t nearly as lengthy, but who cares?!

Lancome.  Started first with the gel liner and then the eyeshadows “It List” and “New Black”.

Welp, we’ll see if I get to the gowns, but for now I may just leave it at this and ride out the awards season until we hit the Oscars.  After all, I’m finding that not too many gowns truly impress me (which is dumb, I admit), but on the other hand I’m wildly impressed by nearly anything concerning makeup.  It’s just more fun for now.  xo, MR

Let’s hear it for the Mara sisters!

If I can say one thing, just ONE THING, about the Emmys this year, it’s this:

KATE MARA’S HAIR.

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I’ve been so ridiculously busy and preoccupied lately that I’ve barely been able to lift an eyelid even for Fashion Month (seriously, I haven’t watched the Prada OR Jil Sander show yet and Milan Fashion Week is OVER … if you know me, you know that’s unheard of), but something like that seen above will always demand a moment of my attention.  Kate Mara had her hair styled for this year’s Emmy Awards in a way that I’ve been obsessed with for about a half-year or so.  I’ve tried it myself a couple times, and it works best with hair that has not been freshly washed, but perhaps blown out straight a couple days ago and now has accumulated some natural oils at the scalp.  Add some gel that imparts shine, tuck behind the ears, and BOOM.  HIGH FASHUNZ!  Now, you can’t exactly flip your hair all over the place Herbal Essences-style, but if you just buckle down with it and go with the vibe, it’s great.  I’m always so in love with Kate Mara’s hair color, too.  I don’t really know what color it is, to be honest.  It’s not quite red, but I wouldn’t exactly call her a brunette.  Auburn?  Autumnal?  One should be so lucky to have their hair color named “autumnal”.

And now that I’ve mentioned a thing or two about big sister, I’m going to take a moment to drool over little sister, too.

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For a good year or so, I was really, really unconvinced by Rooney’s whole aesthetic.  I haven’t seen Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I don’t really ever plan to, but I think I just couldn’t buy Rooney’s look because it seemed so heavily influenced by the film.  I would see how Rooney used to look and dress prior to Tattoo, and I couldn’t help but feel like she simply wanted to remain in character beyond the camera (though perhaps in a toned-down, more glamorous way).  The vampy lips and dark brows, the pale skin and stark expressions, and the raven-hued hair always styled with a sleek edge- is this really Rooney that we’re seeing, or are these just remnants of Lisbeth Salander?

And then I got to thinking, how often am I inspired by a character, whether it’s in a movie, a book, or a magazine (because let’s face it- we really can only understand celebrities as characters and not true people, unless we are to know them personally) when it comes to my own hair or makeup?  How often do I draw upon the look of another for my own, whether by adaptation or straight-up replication (because we’ve all copied that outfit we saw on Pinterest down to the very nail color she was wearing)?  How often have I studied what they did for their makeup, only to tweak it and adjust it until it suited my preferences, but still started with what someone else did first nonetheless?  How often have I actually had someone else in mind when deciding what eyeshadow to put on my own eyes?

I sometimes feel we obsess over the idea of “being ourselves”, and I’m not always certain that we really know  how to do this or what it even means.  My own tastes in beauty and fashion are a collective puzzle, made whole by the tastes and preferences and creations of thousands of others.  I mean, that’s what inspiration boards are, right?  You take the ideas and looks that others love and put them all together to determine what it is that you love.  It takes the manner of thousands to develop the manner of one.  My point is, I think I’ve made peace with the possibility that Rooney Mara’s current personal tastes in beauty may have indeed been heavily influenced by her film character.  She may totally be channeling a glammed-up Lisbeth Salander with that matte skin and eerie shade of plum, but so long as it looks awesome and she’s down with it, who cares if it wasn’t Rooney’s completely original idea?  And so lately I’ve felt free to fall head over heels for Rooney’s entire moda.  I love it!  I wish I could pull it off every day!  But for now, I’ll save it for an October Friday night or two.  Or three or four.  xo, MR