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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

My Grateful Bride, Kristin

My last couple weeks before moving from California to Illinois were pretty hard.  There were goodbye parties, a few last weeks at a job and with coworkers I enjoyed, overwhelming amounts of packing for one little apartment, and fun but truly bittersweet time spent with family and loved ones just before departing.

However, there were also weddings.

Being part of two weddings in the final weeks leading up to our departure was, to my heart, a sign and a reminder of promise.  Weddings are a sign that this is just the beginning, that the best is yet to come, and that despite the work and the stress and the unknown in front of you, the kingdom and the power and the glory lie ahead of us.  Weddings serve as a reminder of this for all of us who witness them, whether we are married or not, whether one ever does marry or not.  To be reminded of these things as I prepared to leave California was no small gift.

I played a part in two weddings before I left for Illinois.  In one, for my beautiful coworker Natalie that I miss dearly, I served as a witness.  For the other, I served as a makeup artist to the gorgeous Kristin.

I had worked at a school with Kristin, who teaches second grade, for the past two years.  We’d interacted with the same families, the same children, the same staff.  I watched her handle the stresses and challenges of guiding seven and eight-year-olds through a year of rigorous learning with grace, responsibility, and a meticulous, tireless work ethic.  All of this, coupled with planning a wedding and trying to find a place to live, is a job meant only for someone as conscientious as Kristin.


I also had the opportunity to hear Kristin share her amazing story journey with me as we went through a makeup trial together, and I have to say, this wedding had been a wonderfully long time coming (and I say that in the most joyous, worth-every-second-of-the-journey kind of way).  As I worked on her makeup the morning of the wedding, Kristin began crying as she listened to one particular song; she needlessly apologized and whispered, “I … I’m just so grateful.”  I am always so moved when I work with brides that have so clearly counted the cost and sacrifice of marriage before they have even entered into it.  This was no mere culmination of a few months on Pinterest; this was no “milestone life event” to be checked off on that great Milestone Life Event Checklist that God is apparently carrying around on a clipboard, disdainfully waiting for us to “complete” (as if marriage makes one person better than their non-married counterpart).

No, Kristin seemed to know that the wedding ahead was much more than these things.  This was Kristin seeing heaven joyously ripping into Earth’s atmosphere through her vows, knowing that this was only the beginning, and that the best is yet to come.  Even in the darkness and utter shame and horror of the days this world has just recently experienced, the promise still stands- the best is yet to come, and we can push forward for truth and justice because of the victory that has already been won.  And with that victory comes healing, restoration, and new life- and how wonderfully appropriate is that considering that Kristin and her husband are now expecting their first child!

Kristin’s thankfulness encouraged me to enjoy what I was doing in the moment.  It can be very easy for a bride to make a makeup artist feel like a cog in the Big Fat Pinterest Wedding machine, with expectations of a Kiley Jenner-type transformation but without any meaning or consciousness of what is happening.  Such was not the case here- I was here to serve, and Kristin’s gratefulness for the circumstances that had brought her to this moment gave me rest, and allowed me to just enjoy what I love.


Kristin had really clear ideas about what she wanted for her makeup, and I so appreciated that because it takes the guesswork out of the process. She knew she wanted to use pink makeup tones on her eyes, lips, and cheeks that she felt would work well with the retro feel of her tea-length bridal dress. We used an excellent foundation that Kristin favored- Estee Lauder’s DoubleWear Foundation- and I used Hourglass’s primer as a light base layer beneath it and NARS Creamy Radiance concealer beneath the eyes for concealing and some basic highlighting. For some light contouring, I used the bronzer and highlighter from Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed palette.


To bring out some of Kristin’s features, I used my favorite technique of applying a creamy, pearly eyeshadow to the very top of the cheekbones, the area between the eyebrows, the cupid’s bow, the very center of their chin, and just above the center of the eyebrows with NARS Duo Cream shadow in Thebes.  Once the whole look was finished, I dusted Kristin’s whole face with Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light, which creates such a flattering glow without looking too golden or bronze.

For Kristin’s eyes, I applied Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion and then Bobbi Brown’s eyeshadow in Rose Gold and MAC’s Shroom all over her lids. We used a shade or two from Urban Decay’s Naked 3 palette to add extra sparkle and dimension in the creases. Bobbi Brown’s LongWear Gel Liner in black was used as topliner, and I applied just accent lashes to the outer corners of her eyes. I used one of Kristin’s own mascaras because her eyes were sensitive to many products. We used a blush of her own that she loved; it was very similar to NARS’ blush in Orgasm. Kristin’s lip color was Bobbi Brown Lipstick in Sandwash Pink with clear gloss on top.  All very pink, and all very glowy!  She is just so beautiful to begin with; it certainly wasn’t a challenge to work with her!


I am finding that MAC, Urban Decay, Bobbi Brown, NARS, and Hourglass are my favorite heavy-hitting brands for bridal makeup. Sometimes you have just so much going on in your kit that you can’t determine what brands you really trust the most, but after scrolling through all my photos in my phone, it seems that these names make the most frequent appearances (along with Dior thanks to their shadow palettes).  If you need any recommendations on products, don’t hesitate to ask!


Kristin, I took such pleasure in serving you on your wedding day and I thank you for being a source of encouragement to me (even when you may not have known it).  You looked absolutely breathtaking, and I love this very photo for its tangible anticipation and excitement.  To the promise of healing, restoration, and new life!  xo, MR


So, picking favorites isn’t easy.  I get all crazy when magazines come out with their “Best in Beauty” issues each year and they list off what they’ve determined to be the best body lotion, best facial exfoliant, best taupe eyeshadow, best bright eyeshadow, best sexy fragrance (as compared to fruity, among others), and so on and so forth.  I guess what makes me go all batty when I read such things is the horrible itch that develops in my brain that says I need … to buy … all of it … now.  Seriously.  I will breach all of my own contracts I’ve made with myself about “Natural only!” and absolutely no parabens or mineral oil in my body products if Allure tells me that that big bottle of deliciously buttermilk-y thick-as-batter body cream that smells like Paula Deen’s house filled with cinnamon and sugar and the laughter of ten thousand happy children (for only $10!!) is uhhhhh-mazing, despite the 100% petrochemically-derived ingredients.  Give it to me.

It takes a lot of effort for me to sort out what my own favorite products really, really are. It’s difficult to sort through all the voices, suggestions, images, and reviews.  But we can start small.  We can start with … lipstick.

Now, I can really hang with all kinds of lip color.  This is only referring to lipstick, a kind of lip color that I probably wear the least.  I picked my favorites of four shades- red, pink, beige/nude, and dark.

MAC Lipstick in Russian Red–  I know their Ruby Woo shade is equally as popular, but it’s just too dry for me.  This gem of a red can be worn everyday with a decent amount of comfort, and it’s flattering on all skintones.  The “flattering” part is kind of big for me too, because I have this weird quirk of getting especially irritated at seeing the wrong shade of red on a girl.

CoverGirl LipPerfection Lipstick in Spellbound–  This is one hot shade of pink, and I love it paired with just black topliner and mascara.  It may seem scary in the tube, but just think of it as a happier alternative to red.  I like to wear it in the fall when it’s less expected, and it’s stunning against an all-black ensemble.

Yves Saint Laurent Volupte’ Sheer Candy in Lush Coconut–  I still haven’t nailed the beige/nude category to satisfaction. I feel that every kind I try is still just a little too pink, and I’m looking for that J.Lo beige that looks incredible on tan and olive skin.  For now, this one is sheer (more like a gloss stick) and smells like mango.  I wear it when I just want to add a little something to my lips besides balm.

L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Spice–  This stuff is just so … vampy.  I’ve been so inspired by Camilla Belle’s rich, daring lip color at the MET Gala this past year and this seems to get me pretty darn close to the look.  I like a slightly Twenties look with a dark lip, kind of costume-y.  And there’s no better season for color like this than autumn.

So tell me … any favorites of your own?  Brands you swear by?  Recommendations for me?  xo, MR

I am a true Neoclassicist work of art.

Just kidding, I’m not really calling myself a work of art (though sometimes I really do look like this when I wake up). It’s just that I’ve watched that video on museum-inspired makeup I posted a couple days ago probably once every day during the past week, and I had to do my own follow-up on it. I’m always looking for an excuse to try something new and maybe an excuse to find a new product (because you’ve really gotta twist my arm for that). Luckily, the only product I purchased as a result of Emily Weiss’s video was MAC’s powder blush in ‘Buff’.

Here, I’ve recreated the look shown in the video on myself, inspired by the luminous skin seen in paintings from the Neoclassicist and Romantic periods of art.

There is no filter used on this photo! I didn’t Instagram it, nothin’. I just sat in front of an open window facing the light. See how my skin glows? I followed Violette’s instructions exactly from the video. The MAC blush made a huge difference, especially when being careful to start at the ear and brush down into the hollows of the cheek. I always like to have my models pucker and make a fish-face when I apply bronzer or a contouring blush on them, and it worked well for this. Violette’s instructions on how to apply the highlighter (a pearly cream shadow) were right on; all the little spots on your face that catch the light. I barely put anything on my lips, just some balm. And while I tend to put on three or four coats of mascara regularly, I tried to use a little less than usual for this look.

I used the following key products of my own:

MakeupForever HD Foundation in #115

NARS cream blush in Lokoum

NARS cream shadow in Thebes

MakeupForever HD Finish powder

MAC eye kohl in Smolder