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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Summer Makeup Essentials

I’m not exactly sure when summer begins on the calendar, but out here in the MidWest, it unofficially-but-very-unquestionably began yesterday.  The temps were in the mid nineties all day, and after a quick little walk to grab some iced coffee my shirt was sticking to me and my cowlick was in full lick mode.  And my toes were swollen.

Changes in season tend to demand a new strategy when it comes to things like what we wear, what our skincare routine looks like, if maybe we’ll just drive to get our iced coffee instead of walk, and what makeup we use.  You could stick to the same song and dance all year, but why not make it easier on yourself?  Go ahead and drive to grab that iced coffee, and stick to items like these:

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Tinted Moisturizer – I don’t know about you, but something about powder foundation in hot weather feels so dusty and yucky.  Images of Dorothy on the tornado-ridden plains of Kansas come to mind.  And yet a regular ole’ liquid foundation in hot weather feels like I’ve willingly modge podged myself.  Something like BareMinerals Complexion Rescue is perfect for higher temps.  Decent coverage, a cooling, gel-like effect, and SPF all make for that perfect summer glow trifecta.  And the finish on a tinted moisturizer doesn’t have to be sheer or glowing!  There are other options, too: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, Black Up Mattifying Tinted Moisturizer, NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, and Boscia’s BB Cream all have excellent reputations and a range of finishes.

Cream blush – How I feel about foundation in the summer applies to blush, too.  Powder blush on sweaty skin can look ruddy, do strange things to pores, and be difficult to blend well.  A nice cream formula, whether liquid or in a stick, can be a great solution for adding color to the cheeks without the heavy effect of a powder.  AND you only need your fingers!  Cream blushes also tend to look more natural, as if the pigment is coming from the inside out as opposed to sitting on top of your skin.  I love Glossier’s Cloud Paints as well as Stila’s Convertible Color, which doubles as lip color.

Self tanner – So, during the hotter months (or maybe year-round for some of us), I have a tendency to use a lot of bronzer.  On my cheeks, around my jawline- something about the season just beckons for its use.  But I often encounter the problem of my body not matching my bronzed face thanks to the months of being covered from head to toe in a wearable sleeping bag.  And because we’re not about frying in the sun (naughty!), I’m here to sing the praises of self-tanner.  Or specifically, Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer.  It’s subtle, the way I like my jokes.  And if I find myself in a swimsuit, the stuff actually manages to make me look even and – dare I say it – somewhat toned?  The heat must be getting to me.

A moisturizing lip stain – Unless it’s during the cool hours of the evening and I’m sipping a refreshing cocktail on a breezy rooftop bar, wearing lipstick during peak hours in the summertime can make me feel like a dog with peanut butter on its lips.  And yet burning, cracked lips without any moisture are the epitome of too-long-on-the-lake-and-now-you-look-like-a-burnt-Cheezit.  Look to something like one of Revlon’s Ultra HD Gel Lipcolors for hydrating and lightweight color, or one of BeneFit’s many lip and cheek stains like Posietint or Benetint so you can just stain your lips for the day and then only worry about reapplying SPF balm.

Something bright! – Come on!  It’s summer!  Teal eyeliner?  Coral lips?  The pink eyeshadow trend that was literally everywhere at the Met Ball?  Try something celebratory and colorful at the next party or wedding or happy hour you find yourself attending.  And there are a gazillion options out there.  Marc Jacobs’s Highliner Gel Eye Crayon alone comes in thirty three shades.  Hung Vanngo used the bright pink shade called (Pop)ular all around Selena Gomez’s eyes for the Met Ball, and I would love, love, LOVE to see someone wear the powder blue Deja Blue shade- just a line across the upper eyelid.

Tell me what you use, tag me in your pics, and enjoy the newfound heat!  xo, MR

Let’s Talk (More) About Glossier

A little over a month ago, a skincare and makeup brand named Glossier asked me to join their rep program. And if you know me, you know that this was very, very exciting. I figured it might be worth doing a full post to give you the low-down on what exactly this means (and what it doesn’t).

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Let’s start with a brief word about the brand.  Glossier is the beauty brand born out of long-favorited blog IntoTheGloss.  Glossier’s goal is to “lay the foundation for a beauty movement that celebrates real girls, in real life.”  Their aesthetic revolves around the philosophy of “skin first, makeup second”, and that “skincare is essential, makeup is a choice.”  With the meteoric rise of makeup gurus like James Charles, Huda Kattan, and Jaclyn Hill with their extreme, maximalist makeup techniques using everything but the bathroom sink, it’s nice to see a brand essentially counter that movement with a minimalist, skin-first aesthetic.

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I can’t relate well to matte, exaggerated liquid-lipstick-lips or perfectly stenciled brows. There are moments for makeup like this, but it’s just not an everyday thing for me. Skincare, on the other hand, is an everyday thing for me along with a bit of color and accenting of features I like such as brows. Glossier’s ideas about beauty match mine- you should always look like you, and your skin should still look like skin, even with the extra bit of color or false lashes or foundation. And so their products like Boy Brow, Generation G lipstick, Stretch concealer, Milky Jelly cleanser, and the Super serums have been perfect matches for my everyday routine. Simple and natural, putting skin first, while adding just enough zing.

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And so, Glossier has released their products slowly, with maybe one new launch every other month. Each product is meant to address a very basic need with the intent of being one of your staples. Whether it’s a truly excellent everyday moisturizer, or four brilliant shades of blush, or the perfect facial cleanser, Glossier products are meant to be your favorites that you wear everyday and repurchase over and over. Glossier also has the very democratic habit of crowd-sourcing their products, meaning they take the advice and input of their readers on IntoTheGloss to create the perfect skincare or makeup item based on the consumer’s desires.  Oh, and their design and branding are soooo dang cute.  Snapping a pic of your adorable pink pouch feels natural, even when mixed in with your other favorite stuff.

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So what exactly does it mean now that I’m a “brand rep?” Well, it mostly means I love Glossier and the folks who work there noticed. I was asked to join the program by a Glossier team member because of my love for the brand as displayed on social media, and my frequent commenting on IntoTheGloss. A page was then created for me with a little introductory video, along with a list of my favorite products. When any purchases are made specifically through my page, I receive a bit of commission (5%- it’s baby commission!).  And for those who are purchasing Glossier for the first time, you receive a 10% discount when you purchase through my page too.  Below is just an image – click here to see my little vid (I talk to you!) and shop through my page.

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Now, here’s what being a Glossier rep doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean I have inventory that I need to sell; all purchases through my link are fulfilled by Glossier alone. In other words, I make no direct sales. Being a rep doesn’t mean I paid startup costs either, since, again, you have no inventory as a rep and becoming a rep is free. Additionally, I will not be asking anyone to “join me on my journey” as Glossier reps don’t and can’t recruit other reps. The only way to become a rep is to be asked by Glossier. Also, there’s no incentive for me gaining a new, first-time customer. In fact, the only incentive there is for the new customer herself to the tune of a 10% discount on a first purchase. And finally, Glossier reps can’t see who purchases through their page; I can only see what is sold and how much commission I’m making that month (which, for me, rarely hits over $10!).

What I get to do: I get to tell you about new launches, probably share photos with you, and talk about the products that I love and how I use them. Also, if just one purchase is made through my page each month, I receive a $30 credit the following month. Not bad, and way to keep a loyal fanbase! And of course, if you do decide to click “Add To Cart” through my page, that’s not so bad either. Just look for the “You’re shopping with McKenna Rishmawy” icon to the top right like you see in the photo.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the brand or any products.  I’m more than happy to make recommendations. glossier.com/reps/mckennaxo, MR

If You Have Just Five Minutes …

My current living situation isn’t exactly the most glamorous.

I live in a building with many other families that are all living there for the purpose of someone completing a higher education degree.  It is a season of scrimping and saving, constant transition (as there is a moving truck in front of our building at least once every two months), and general uncertainty.  Many of the women in my building are busy raising three or four young children; others are plugging away at their own coursework or job responsibilities.  Any you way it slice it, it’s not exactly the place where you’ll see lots of false lashes or makeup brushes lying around.

That being said, all this doesn’t mean the lashes and brushes have been tossed to the wayside here, rejected as some sort of earthly frill without any value.  For so many of my neighbors, there just isn’t time, and one’s mind is simply preoccupied with other things besides finding the perfect highlighter that’s right for your skin.  I guess the same could be said for many folks in various stages of life- we often find ourselves without time, or living in seasons when we’re just distracted, and little things that brought joy are the first to go.  Something like makeup or skincare becomes more of a tedious effort than a delightful ritual.  One of my most restful activities has always been doing my makeup and hair, and even without children, I’ve already found myself slowing down and not wanting to take the time that I used to for these things.

But for me, my putting aside of makeup says more about the state of my mind and heart than about busyness.  I could take the time to do a little something, but when my mind and heart are clouded with worry or feelings of ungratefulness, I can’t enjoy something like makeup.  In moments like that it’s hard to sit down, take a deep breath, and choose which couple eyeshadows I’d like to wear.  It’s a challenge to let go of the worries of the moment and say, “You know, things are going to be okay.  Worrying truly solves nothing, so let’s choose joy and put on the makeup I love.”

But something funny happens when I do surrender those worries, when I say “no” to the seemingly looming cares of tomorrow- I find myself picking up the brushes, turning on the curling iron, and taking joy.  I find myself putting in the “work” of makeup out of thankfulness, out of delight.  And suddenly, makeup stops feeling so much like work, but rather like the pleasure it’s been for me since I was twelve.  You could almost call it worship.  I sometimes manage to get so caught up in this delight that I end up with full-face look, complete with primer, contouring, something colorful, and maybe even false lashes.  When I say no to worry and fear, I am able to take delight in beauty and creativity.

Think about that.

So for those of us that are busy, worried, tired, or feeling unsure of whatever it is in the season you’re in, I’d encourage you to choose joy and put on those false lashes.  Or mascara.  Or lash extensions if you’re especially busy!  Release those fears and bust out your exfoliant.  Surrender your anxieties and decide which color you’re going to paint your nails.  Say no to the fear and choose rest.  So if you have even just five minutes, here are a couple strategies for pursuing this very specific practice of joy and rest effectively:

  1. Choose a bold lipstick and strong eyebrows – Stop thinking of lipstick as overly glamorous and formal, and start thinking of it as your best femme-friend that can go with you anywhere to give things a little sunshine and “Yeah, girl!”.  A great lipstick is like carrying around Leslie Knope in your bag.  One of the easiest signature looks you can adapt is that of a striking lip color paired with gorgeous, groomed brows.  Have your face moisturized, and use one or two brow products to fill them in, brush them up, and tame them in place.  As you know, I like Glossier’s Boy Brow for a really quick fix, but Bobbi Brown’s Perfectly Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil comes in a good variety of shades, is tapered as a pencil, and comes with a spooly brush.  You can always use clear mascara or Boy Brow to then set things in place.  Next, have your lips moisturized with your fave balm and then apply whatever awesome lipstick your heart desires.  Choose something that feels like you, but is perhaps a small step beyond your comfort zone. I love wearing MAC’s Russian Red by itself, but there are also some seriously amazing shades by Bite Beauty that I love staring at.  Colors like Jam, Tannin, or Dragonfruit would make amazing signature shades.  Moisturizer + eyebrows + lipstick = very French and very pulled together, probably within five minutes.  Below, my current look of choice.
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  2. Choose a perfectly-cleansed fresh face – Do your whole routine of a little exfoliating, a little cleansing, a quick spritz of toner, and a yummy moisturizer for a quick-but-indulgent accomplishment.  A bare but glowing face these days is widely accepted as a chic substitute for makeup (though I always recommend giving your brows a wee bit of love, too).  I use a small bit of Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate as a mini peel for one minute (and I treat this stuff like golden elixir as it was a gift), and then I rinse and follow up with Ole Henriksen’s Empower Foaming Milk Cleanser.  After I rinse off the cleanser and pat my face dry, I spritz on Lush’s Eau Roma Toning Water.  I love that this is in a spray bottle as opposed to a needing a cotton pad for application- so fast and easy.  I follow up with Origin’s A Perfect World SPF 25 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea, and I’m glowing like the sun!  A little brow gel to complete the look, a quick pull back of the hair into a low bun, and you’re basically ready for New York Fashion Week.
  3. Choose mega lashes and flushed cheeks – Mascara takes me the longest time of any other makeup product to apply, so if you’re short on time or patience but you really want lashes, choose to focus on only that and perhaps one more thing.  Use an eyelash curler like Kevyn Aucoin’s to gently curl and lift your lashes.  Lash curlers are really underrated in my opinion; they do so much to open up the eye and ease the application of mascara.  Next, pick a couple favorite kinds of mascara that thicken and lengthen (or if you can manage just one, props to you).  I like almost any kind from CoverGirl’s LashBlast line– the orange tube (LashBlast), the purply-blue tube (LashBlast Fusion), the lime green tube (The Clump Crusher), or the turquoise tube (The Super Sizer).  I could use any combination of these babies and get really black, super thick lashes that you can carefully build for length.  Once you’re happy with the outcome, do a quick dusting of a blush that you’ve found to be most flattering (and by flattering, I mean it suits your face nearly every day of the year).  An easy pick is NARS Orgasm, long hailed as universally flattering on all skintones.  The name may make your eyes roll, but the stuff is no joke.  If that’s out of your budget, Milani has a good variety of really pretty blushes that are super concentrated in both matte and shimmery finishes.  These get a ton of buzz on Pinterest and Instagram; I used on once on a bridesmaid who owned one and wanted to wear her own blush and I was really impressed.

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Whatever your plans involve this weekend, whether it’s a lot of running around, getting things done, or just sitting on the couch trying to catch your breath, be sure to open the door to joy.  And if that means exfoliating or applying lipstick in a shameless shade of merlot, to that I say, “Yes and more please”.  xo, MR

My eyelids look exactly like Kate’s eyelids.

Ever see red carpet makeup, or makeup in a movie, or makeup on a magazine cover and you think, “Hmm, I’ll bet I could do that”? And do you ever get even more excited when you’re able to find out what products were used on the look? That’s like striking gold for me. A lot of times websites or magazines will simply suggest items that they claim will “recreate” the look, but they won’t list the exact products. This always left me feeling a little cheated. I mean, come on! If it’s good enough for fill–in-the-blank-celebrity-name, it’s good enough for me … right? So anyhow, when I’m able to dig up the exact products used for whatever look it is that I’m loving, I know I’m that much closer to really looking like Jennifer Aniston. Uh huh.

Just kidding. I don’t really want to look like Jennifer Aniston.

But I did find myself quite enamored with this beautiful shot of Kate Beckinsale as the August cover girl of Allure magazine. She’s been on the cover for this magazine more than a couple times, but hey, why not?

Allure always features a page in every issue that gives the details on their cover shoot, including the makeup that was used. Now, to be honest, I’m still not sure if the products referenced are the real goods used for the shoot. They may still have me fooled after almost ten years of reading this magazine (yes, ten). But I decided to make a run down to my drugstore and try out the eyeshadow they referenced because it looked easy, gorgeous and it was cheap. And I try not to buy drugstore makeup too frequently, however tempting it may be. The suspect- L’Oreal 24HR. Infallible eyeshadow in “Bottomless Java”.

We’ve all got a million brown eyeshadows (especially if you have brown eyes like me), but I’d really recommend this one for your “best bargain” category no matter what eye color you’ve got. The color is incredibly rich without too much fall-out, it builds well, and is highly pigmented. While it’s decidedly neutral (I mean, it is brown), a couple layers of the stuff make for quite the smoky eye.

While I don’t quite look like Kate Beckinsale post-shadow application, I’d say it’s a pretty good match to the shade observed on her cover look. Hopefully this means Allure really is giving their most accurate information and we can all have Kate’s eyelids together. xo, MR

Here comes my (first) bride!

Whitney has been a friend of mine since late high school, and one my very closest at that. She was a bridesmaid in my own wedding last year and there was never a question that I’d be a bridesmaid for her. When I think of Whitney, the words ‘loyalty’ and ‘dedication’ immediately come to mind. She’s worked herself to the grindstone the past couple years pursuing (and achieving!) the goal of a nursing career, a journey which brought her to the brink of insanity. But when Whitney sees capability and calling within herself or others, there’s just no stopping her. She’ll work night and day to push herself, and she values the qualities of commitment and hard work in others too.

It’s for these reasons that Whitney’s been the one friend that has pestered me the most to advertise my talents. I’m pretty wishy-washy on things like these, but not long after her engagement, Whitney asked me to do her makeup for her big day. Now, I’d never put myself to the bridal test before (unless you count my own wedding … I did my own makeup for the most part … more on that later), so I was still nervous at the idea. What was so cool, however, was that Whitney just had such complete confidence in me. She made me feel like a professional, and in turn I felt like one. We had a couple practice sessions, and by the bachelorette weekend we’d hit the spot. On the day of, I really couldn’t have been more proud of my work. As a whole picture, I’d never seen her look more beautiful. I was floored.

I honestly felt like a champ after this wedding. I was encouraged, and I felt inspired to try for more. Since then (and this was in April, by the way), I’ve done a couple faces for Prom, some general practice on friends, two more brides (one of which seals the deal this weekend!), and countless applications on myself. I’d also done the makeup for a couple photography sessions earlier in the year. I aim to push myself this next year with the hopes of making just a couple more brides as happy as my Whitney! xo, MR

All photography is credited to Mike Lewis Photography. For more of his work and the full spread on Whitney Norrbom’s wedding, check out his blog at http://www.needpictures.com/blog/

Doin’ it for real.

 Summer of 2012 is going to go down as the summer of weddings.  I know there are weddings every year and every summer, but this particular season has had me heavily involved in four weddings (and I was just asked to be a bridesmaid in one next August … weeee!).  While I’ve played the part of being a bridesmaid in a couple, I’ve busted out my makeup brushes for all of them.  And I’m having a great time.

It’s my intent to move forward with my talents and to begin advertising myself as a local freelance makeup artist for hire, available for photo shoots, weddings, and all the like.  More information is on it’s way.

This shot is credited to Jen Disney, and features the lovely and beautiful Mrs. Megan Negrete. For more of Jen’s work, see http://www.jendisneyphotography.com

Museum-Inspired Makeup

Emily Weiss of http://www.intothegloss.com just knows the right people. As a beauty editor for Vogue, she’s got the connections that’ll make you cringe with envy (I don’t know about you, but when I’m envious I cringe). Here, she’s filmed her girl Violette (a ridiculously talented Dior representative) showing us how to contour and highlight for a fresh-faced look reminiscent of neoclassicist paintings. Brilliant. Be sure to check out her blog that features a full post on this video!