Saturday, April 19, 2014

Experiment of the Week: Easter Egg Makeup / Springtime Pastels

I live for dramatic, film-noiresque makeup colors like black, plum and emerald, but lately, I've been coming down with pastel spring fever! I think a turning point for me was watching this Lisa Eldridge pastel makeup look (she is my idol by the way; I highly recommend watching every one of her videos multiple times, unless you're not an obsessive superfan like me. In the latter case, just some of her skincare and basic looks are very helpful!). She mentions that unless you're a fair skinned blonde, you need to throw some soft neutrals like taupe into your pastel look to ground your face. Finally, I understood why pastels always made me look so washed-out! If your hair and face have a high level (or any level) of contrast like mine, your eyes and lips need some definition or this song will play every time you enter a room. As you'll see, there are three keys to defining features while letting the pastels shine: tightlining the upper lashline in brown; using a light taupe shadow in the crease; and lining lips with a color a shade deeper than their natural lips before adding a baby-pink lip color. So, let's jump right into this candy-coated, Marshmallow Peeps-approved, sugary unicorn confection of a makeup look!
Products Used:
  • MAC Pro Longwear Foundation in NW15
  • MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15
  • Benefit’s High Beam 
  • MAC Casual Color in A14 For Your Amusement
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion 
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk
  • Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Brown
  • Makeup Forever Powder Blush in Lavender no. 9
  • Makeup Forever Powder Blush in Irish Green no. 93
  • The Body Shop Colour Crush Eyeshadow in Chocolate Linger 
  • Stila's Smudge Stick Waterproof Liner in Periwinkle & Turquoise
  • Makeup Forever Smoky Lash in Dark Blue no. 5
  • Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown 
  • Benefit's Gimme Brow
  • NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita
You'll notice my nails are getting in on the pastel act too! They're painted with Sally Hansen's I Lilac You. Obviously, pastels can start to look pretty dated if you pile on peach after mint after lavender in your makeup, nails and clothes, but I hope you can take a few elements of this look and have fun with them!

I've already applied foundation & concealer here, and added a bit of pencil to my brows (eyebrow how-to coming up later this week!). Now I'm taking my brand-spanking-new MAC Casual Color which is for cheeks & lips. Look at that color! They're limited edition and also come in a brighter pink & coral. Cream blushers are great for spring & summer because they provide a dewy glow, while powders can look chalky in lots of sun & heat. Plus, they're easier to apply than powders; just tap on with fingers.

Now I've done a bit of contouring & highlighting; click here for a more in-depth step-by-step on that.

Here's that tightlining step I mentioned using the Maybelline brown gel liner. Tightlining can be uncomfortable when you first try it, but once you get used to it, it makes a huge difference in the intensity of your eye makeup. Tightlining involves placing eyeliner on your waterline, which is the space between your eyeball and your upper or lower lashline. It's the quickest way to make your lashes appear fuller without mascara, because it makes it seem that your eyelashes start a few milimeters before they actually do. Along with this, I've pushed a bit of the gel liner into my lashes from the top side. You can see in the right image, where I've tightlined on the left eye only, what a difference it makes.

For today, I want subtle definition yet a sense of openness, so I'm using brown liner on top and will be placing some white liner on my lower waterline later. For more dramatic looks, you could use black liner on both the upper and lower waterlines, or you can use color, like I did with purple on my lower waterline in this post. But those are options for another look!

I've applied Primer and then NYX's Milk, a white base that allows colors to shine at their full intensity; and now I'm using Stila's Periwinkle liner as a cream shadow, applying & blending quickly with my fingers because once this liner sets, it is meant to be smudgeproof! I've gone about 3/4 of the way across my lid, leaving a bit of space at the outer corners for my next color...

Lavender! Don't ask me why this is considered a blush by Makeup Forever; I'm just happy that this color exists! I'm using a medium-sized domed brush just to get a lot of color on the lid, and then using this smaller, pointed brush to define the shape of the shadow into my crease. 

By the way, you can see in these images that the brown liner is transfering a bit from my upper to lower waterline. Frankly, I'm still searching for the solution to this! It happens almost every time I do this, even with waterproof liners. Someday I hope to find the answer, but for now just wipe it off the lower waterline when it happens.

Now, time for more of that definition with this light taupe shade from Body Shop. I'm applying a bit into my crease in a windshield-wiper motion. I believe that incorporating a neutral is so important when applying a bright eye makeup look. Without some version of brown, gray or black to ground the look, bright shadows look unfinished & disconnected from your face, like a set of outlets without a wall plate.

Now, I'm applying Stila's liner in Turquoise onto my lower lashline, blending out with my fingers. I then decided that this shade was too jarring a difference from the lavender & periwinkle, so I layered a bit of the white liner and then the periwinkle on top to make it more of a robin's egg color, with just a hint of turquoise to it.

Threw on a couple coats of navy mascara on top & lower lashes after deciding that black was too harsh for this look, and that's it for eyes!

Now for lips! Here's that outline of NARS Dolce Vita followed by the sam MAC cream I used on my cheeks applied with my fingers. As you can see, it's a real baby pink that is basically the same value as my skin with a more pink hue, so having that darker shade underneath helps it from completely disappearing onto my face.

And that's all folks! I hope you'll consider trying some refreshing spring colors now that the weather's getting warmer. Have fun with it!

P.S. — Full disclosure guys: for after finishing this makeup, I tried out the "bow bun" trend thinking it'd be a cute addition to the look; it came out alright, it was just too cute with all these pastels. But I do think it'd be a fun look to try with really intense, edgy cat-eyes & leather jacket as a girly contrast. But that's another post!

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