Easily my favorite makeup look of 2013. So far.

So, by now most of you know how I’m often bothered by how difficult it is to find out what products celebrity makeup artists actually use on their clients. I don’t want to know how to “get the look”, or what I could “try” to “achieve so-and-so’s look” (all these phrases typically code for “This ain’t the real deal, but buy this stuff anyway cuz yer dumb”).  I want a run-down of the actual goods.

Well, I scored big-time when it came to this stunning look on Jessica Alba at the 2013 Kids Choice Awards.  Leave it to the awesome folks at People StyleWatch to get back to me immediately when I asked them if they could locate the items used on her.  People StyleWatch also credits this gorgeous look to the talents of fabulous Avon Global celebrity makeup artist Lauren Anderson.

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I’ve loved a couple things about Jessica’s makeup these days, with the number one thing being her flawless under-eye area (and yes, I get how obscure that is but you begin to appreciate these things after years of obsessing).  The area fanning out from the inner corners of her eyes always looks luminous and even, as also seen here at the 2013 Golden Globes.  I love that her skin doesn’t just look corrected of whatever flaws there may be; it looks beyond corrected.  Her face is highlighted and contoured in all the right places to the point where she looks lit from within or part of a Renaissance painting.  I also love a dewy, glowing finish much more than a matte finish (which I need to get over though, because I’ve learned that some brides don’t want to look glowy; they’d rather look matte and shine-less, which I can respect).  And that teal eyeliner is so fresh and it makes her eyes sparkle!  The nude lip color looks clean and beautiful too, making this my favorite makeup look so far for 2013.

So what exactly did Lauren use to achieve this perfect look for spring?  All of the following, as reported to me by PSW, are the exact products used:

Avon Ideal Flawless Foundation

Lorac Baked Bronzer

Chanel blush in Tumulte

Cle de Peau concealer

Votre Vu Brow Wax

Avon Glimmersticks in Aqua Flash

Ardell Individual Lashes (in short black)

Avon SuperExtend Infinitize Mascara

Avon Totally Kissable Lipstick in Lovey Dovey

Of course it’s the seventy-dollar Cle de Peau concealer- of cooouuurrrrrrse!  I mean, it had to be, right?  It couldn’t have been my dang L’Oreal True Match!  But then again, Cle de Peau’s concealer does have the top-of-the-line reputation for being the absolute best you can get in concealer, bar none.  So, I suppose I should’ve expected a product of that caliber to be responsible for Jessica’s holy undereyes.  But the real good news to me is the fact that the wicked awesome teal eyeliner is Avon!  Seriously?!  Not, like, ten thousand dollar Dior eyeliner?!  Woohoo!  Those Avon Glimmerstick things cost just seven bucks a pop!  Even the foundation costs just eleven bucks, and the lipstick goes for eight (though currently on sale for five).

My order is currently in for the eyeliner and lipstick.  Let me know if you’ve ever tried any Avon products that you love, OR if you’re an Avon lady!  I’ve always wanted my very own Avon lady to feed and keep in a cage all for myself!  xo, MR

Weekday update! And how I have no sales resistance.

So, an update.

I’ve been using the same very cheap under-eye concealer for a couple years. I’m pretty sure the shade is wrong (a cool tone, which is not even a characteristic of my own skin), but for some reason I continue to use it. I thought I’d perhaps purchase the same concealer but in a neutral shade instead. So I stopped by Ulta (so that I also might purchase some new cologne for the husband … Givenchy Play smells like swag, but the nice, helpful, courteous, I-may-not-be-loaded-but-I-still-have-good-taste kind of swag) and found myself experiencing an acute lack of confidence as I checked for a better shade of my beloved L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable concealer. It’s not often that I feel the confidence drain out of me as I shop for makeup. I’m usually the one bossing someone else around in that situation. You need THIS blush! You’ll make your eyes pop more with this eyeshadow, dummy! Stop it- that shade makes you look like Snooki on an even worse day! So what did I do? I did the last thing … literally, THEE LAST THING … that I ever like to do in the beauty department: I asked for help from a sales associate.

It’s a strange combination of anxiety and exhilaration that I experience when I ask a beauty sales associate for help. On the one hand, I almost have this sort of avoidant disorder that makes me want to throw up when a sales associate approaches me and asks if I want to try anything or if I need any help. It’s the same feeling I get when I’m asked for money by a solicitor outside of Target. I’ll put my phone to my ear and pretend I’m talking to someone just to avoid contact with the person, or I’ll run past them as fast I can. I just hate having to say no. However, if I decide that I do want to try something on my own terms, I throw all caution to the wind and I want them to go absolutely crazy on me. The only problem is that, well, it’s really awkward if a sales associate tests a couple things on you and you don’t purchase something. In fact, if an associate ever does apply a full face of makeup on you at your own request, it is expected that you purchase at least two items. I’ve taken this policy to the extreme in that I feel obligated to purchase something shown to me by any associate if I’m helped at all.

So anyhow, I sort of on-purpose ran into a woman working at Ulta and explained my dilemma. She perked up, went and grabbed her favorite undereye concealer, and proceeded to perch me on a chair and blend the product neatly under my eyes. And it looked alright. I don’t know what it is, but sometimes I experience this feeling of not liking something so much because I didn’t find it myself, even if it does exactly what I need it to do. But like a moron, I thanked the woman and walked away with the concealer- which was priced at thirty bucks. Ugh. Seriously? Not even $24.99? I don’t know, sometimes I can be pretty spineless when it comes to sales resistance. This stuff wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t even Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche’ Eclat (the legendary luxury undereye brightener and concealer that I own but am continuously underwhelmed by). The drugstore kind I’d been using never tops ten dollars, and I just felt like a sucker. And yet I did not want to say no and hurt the nice lady’s feelings! Her whole career in makeup might hinge on that thoughtful, enthusiastic sales pitch of hers!

So what did I do? I picked up one of the L’Oreal concealers in a better-matched shade, held on to the thirty dollar one too, stood in line, flashed the thirty dollar one unmistakably and reassuringly when my friendly helper walked by as she assisted another customer, made it to the register … and proceeded to sigh and whisper, “You know, I’m not going to take this today”, and handed in the thirty dollar concealer to be put back on the shelf, discreetly out of view from my helper. And then I bolted.

There’s something extra difficult about resisting a sale in the beauty department. Beauty sales feel more personal to me because usually the associate has taken the time to assess your personal features and desires, and has then used their technical skills by applying the makeup to your face. You feel as if they’ve pampered you a little bit, and you also may feel that they’ve played “artist” a little bit, and turning down a sale would be insulting to their artistic abilities. It’s something I really need to get over, though.

I don’t exactly have any pictures of my escape from Ulta, but here’s a picture of the current state of my medicine cabinet!

medicabinet

There isn’t a whole lot that’s new here. I found that Caudalie Vinexpert Radiance Fluid for about a third of it’s original price (which always makes me worry that it’s old) and so I snagged it just to try. It leaves you looking very glowy, which I love, but it’ll never be worth the full price. I ran out of eye makeup remover (and I’d been using Caudalie’s) and so I picked up some of the famed Lancome Bi-Facil. It works really well, but I’m not used to the feeling of oil left on my eyes (as I’m pretty sure it’s not oil-free). I love having a pretty, sparkly, blue fluid in my cabinet though! Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream is a cult favorite for dry lips and skin, but it feels and smells as if it’s almost one hundred-percent petroleum or mineral oil, which freaks me out and makes me want to use the smallest amount possible. I got it for Christmas and luckily I know it wasn’t very expensive, but it definitely isn’t what I thought it would be. I’m about two-thirds through my Boscia B.B. cream, and half-way through my Acure night cream.  And nowhere through that Bio-Oil.  Anyone want that stuff?

And for a last little bit of excitement, I busted out my most saturated shade of pink yesterday in celebration of the spring-worthy weather we were experiencing.

CoverGirl

I’m wearing CoverGirl’s Lip Perfection lipstick in Spellbound, the most kick-butt shade of fuschia EVER.  It’s very much pink, but it’s got enough purply-plum in it to give it some edge and keep it from being too baby. The purple makes it more flattering for darker skin tones too.   I first applied a couple coats of it around ten in the morning and I think I reapplied a total of three times (one coat each time) during the whole day (and I think I finally scrubbed it off around nine at night).  I probably didn’t need to reapply any at all because the stain it leaves is very even, but over time the purple fades out of it and you’re left with the hot pink base.  I just like keeping it looking fresh.  Oh, and this photo is unfiltered!  No joke!

Let me know how your medicine cabinet’s looking these days, what spring makeup you’re trying, or your awkward stories from the makeup counter!  Believe me- I didn’t even get into my worst tale.  That’s yet to come.  xo, MR

Spring is sprung! Not really!

In case you didn’t know, we’re currently in the middle of New York Fashion Week.  That’s right fools.  Get your calendars straight according to the world of fashion and start ringing in the New Year in September with Fall Fashion Week, and celebrating the mid-year in February with Spring Fashion Week (though both really take place in summer and winter).  I’m not exactly sure how that’s all going to pan out what with Nemo (cute name for a storm, ain’t it?) going down and all, but the folks who make the fashion world go ’round don’t exactly pay attention to things like weather reports when it comes to the bi-annual insanity that is Fashion Week.  Deadly weather be damned!  I can guarantee you that things like high heels and skirts are STILL happening in the midst of all the snowfall, and there are seriously like, ten shows a day happening or something like that.  Fashion peoples be cray.

I’ve been aware of the trends we’re going to be seeing this spring for some time now, and the only one in fashion that I really paid attention to was the surge of graphic black-and-white prints thanks to the likes of Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Alexander Wang, DKNY, Louis Vuitton (blame Marc for that one, too), and seriously a bajillion more.  Being that this is a beauty blog, however, I’m more interested in discussing the beauty trends of the season.  The two most prominent beauty trends for the spring of 2013 consist of blue-green shades of eyeshadow (not your Grandma’s shade of periwinkle, by the way, so don’t be rollin’ your eyeballz just yet) and bright orange-red lips.  Now don’t think too hard about trying to do some fancy peacock eyeshadow look when it comes to the former.  I have a fat eyeliner pencil from Sephora in a shimmery shade of aqua that I like lining my eyes with, even just the bottom lid.  And Sephora Rouge lipstick in shade #29 is a flattering, comfortable shade of tomato-ey tangerine for anyone.

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But beyond the specific trends for this spring, I’ll be trying a couple things more often with the hope of integrating the techniques into my everyday look.  First is the tough one- contouring.   You know how sometimes you look at runway models and they almost look as if they’re making a fish-face, sucking in their cheeks and they have cheekbones that look like they could cut glass?  Welp, they’re probably not and they probably don’t.  I mean, chances are that if one is a model then they probably do have very high cheekbones, but I’m telling you- Every model on the runway has undergone some makeup contouring.  This typically involves using a darker shade of foundation or powder foundation, a deeper-but-neutral shade of blush, or a bronzer in the hollows of the cheeks to create the illusion that you have higher cheekbones.  Well-done contouring can even work wonders on the shape of your nose, as well as the forehead and jawline.  Celebrity news blogs and websites will always make a huge fuss over speculation on Kim Kardashian and how it appears like she’s had some kind of surgery on her nose, cheekbones or whatever, but it’s actually all the result of her crazy skills with makeup and contouring.  Believe it or not, Kim is actually very talented with makeup (but she just wears so dang much all the time that I just can’t seem to like it).

I’ve been using NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna most faithfully for contouring on my own, but I’ve also taken to using a cheaper, darker shade of creamy foundation sometimes too.  Coco Rocha mentioned the tip in an interview I read recently, and it’s worked out well.  I picked up a CoverGirl+Olay Simply Ageless Foundation in Classic Tan, and I just use my fingers to blend it upward into the hollows of my cheeks.  I like to use a powder just under my jawline and a little swipe going from my temples back down into the hollows of my cheekbones.  Think of making a “C” shape with your brush.  For lighter contouring, I also like MAC powder blush in Buff.

As for eyebrows, I’ve taken to the almighty Cara Delevingne as my inspiration lately.  Seriously, this girl is THEE model of the 2010’s if you ask me.  She is EVERYWHERE.  Her bone structure is out of control (though note the contouring on her cheeks!), but it’s her eyebrows that have gotten everyone’s attention.  Dramatic eyebrows have made a serious comeback in the past three years or so thanks to various models like Cara and runway beauty trends, which is good news for me considering I’ve never plucked mine.  Ever.  I’ve never waxed, never had any kind of eyebrow appointment, nothing.  My mama always said I had good eyebrows, and I didn’t really care much until I met Jennifer Connelly’s eyebrows.  Oh dang!  But what I have been doing lately is filling in any uneven patches with an eyebrow pencil and just brushing them out using an eyebrow comb.  And sometimes, when I think of Cara, I just pencil them in a leeeetle bit more … and a little more … and a little more.  I’ve been using two different shades of Make Up For Ever’s eyebrow pencils for a while now, sometimes using both and sometimes choosing one depending on how dark my hair is at the time.

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So below, we’ve got the results of my contouring/eyebrow-loving adventures.  I put a pretty heavy filter on the shot so you could really see where I placed the product (and in this case, it was the CoverGirl).  If you try contouring, don’t be afraid to use a lot.  Results with contouring tend to be a lot more fun as opposed to when you’re too shy.  Now, what will really be fun is when I put a little blonde back in my hair and I still stick with the dark, heavy brows.  I always was disappointed by the assumption that light hair calls for dainty eyebrows.  NO HAIR CALLS FOR DAINTY EYEBROWS.  Shoot, I told my husband last night that I wish mine would grow out and get even bigger!  I wish my eyebrows would just declare mutiny and take over my whole face!  Oh, and whatever you do, DO NOT pluck your blonde (or even dark!) eyebrows into oblivion and then proceed to draw chola brows in their place.  What are chola brows?  THESE.

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So there you have it.  These are my makeup plans for this coming spring- contoured cheeks, strong brows, blood-orange lips, and blue-green eye makeup (though probably not all at once).  Oh, and for those that insist they don’t follow trends, and that “trends are for followers” or “people who can’t think for themselves” or whatever such derp as that- I’m sorry, trends are for people who like to have fun.  Trends are for people who like to play around and try something different.  And don’t you be foolin’ yourself into thinking that you have nothing to do with trends and that you’re some kind of original.  Just refer back to Meryl Streep’s death-kill monologue in The Devil Wears Prada wear she, *ahem*, educates Anne Hathaway’s character and lets her know that everything she’s wearing, and everything she ever chooses to wear, was chosen for her months in advance.  There are those who follows trends, and then those who set them.  And if you’re not in some studio designing and working on your collection right now for your September show, it’s very likely that you’re not a maker of trends.  If you purchase a clothing item, a neat new beauty product, any such thing from a store, congratulations- you follow trends.   And that’s ok!  What on God’s green Earth is WRONG with being a follower, I ask you?!  The world would be a better place if we all chose someone commendable and committed to following them as best as we could instead of trying so desperately to make our own way.  So get out there and copy someone!  Just not this person.  xo, MR