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making faces :: scary stuff [part two]

do ya think i'm sexy?
a while back, i posted pictures of myself wearing blue and aqua shadow, something that's always a bit intimidating for me. i'm still a little shy of brighter shades of blue, but putting it out there did seem to help me confront my cosmetic fear and so i thought i'd bring the theme back once more, since we're now in the season of fear. and so, ladies and gentlemen, i present to you something else that makes me tremble with fright: nude lips.

this is such a finicky thing to pull off, because, done properly, it looks very sexy and pairs incredibly well with a smoky eye [which i love] and seems to enhance the skin. done improperly, it makes it look like you pinned pieces of undercooked chicken schnitzel on your face. and what's truly scary is that the difference between schnitzel and sensual is much finer than it should be.

this isn't, of course, the first time that i've posted pictures of me with a nude lip, but most times, i have to admit that i cheat 'nude' towards the category of 'my lips but better', meaning that i opt for something that still shows the pinkness of my actual lips rather than finding something that's a little more fleshy [which is what's meant when you hear talk of a nude or neutral lip]. alternately, i'll opt for something that has a taupe-y tone which makes things cooler [as in colour scale] and more modern. alternately, i'll go for something that has a lot of shimmer and dimension to it. but a true, creamy nude is something that always makes me nervous. personally, i feel it's a much bolder statement than a bold red or vampy shade.

for today's demonstration, i picked mac's "creme d'nude", which i like because it's a cooler shade, so it harmonises better with my skin, but which also gives me problems, since it's not opaque and allows bits of my natural colour to seep through, which always ruins this sort of look for me. in order to help me overcome that, i filled in my lips with a pencil liner beforehand, which means that the colour of my lips is muted to begin with.

i could have gone with a really smoldering smoky eye for this- it would have been totally appropriate- but i felt like i wanted to try something different. i also felt that an intense smoky eye would have drawn some attention at the drug store, which is where i was planning on heading this afternoon. so i went for a neutral eye with a little pop of colour just to keep things interesting. [also, i thought that a pop of blue or teal would go nicely with the sort of 'statement' necklace i wanted to wear.]

my fear, especially now that my hair is quite light, is always that making my lips neutral will turn my face into a blob of beige silly putty. my hair is light, my eyes are light... there's really not a lot to make a statement if everything is kept pretty neutral.

but i do think that this works as well as a neutral lip can on me. i'm not crazy about the formula of mac's cremesheen lipsticks- i found it difficult to get the colour to apply evenly- but i do like the shade, enough to make up for its flaws.

here, ultimately, is what i came up with:

the base ::
marcelle beauty balm spf 20 "light/ medium"
urban decay naked skin foundation "2.0" [as i lose my tan, this is starting to become a little dark on me]
lush colour supplement "jackie oates"
mac paint pot "painterly"
urban decay e/s "naked" [to fill in brows- i always forget to mention what shades i use for this; also, i forget about my brows at least half the time i put on makeup anyway...]

eyes ::
marcelle e/s "champagne bubble" [light neutral ivory]
rouge bunny rouge e/s "angelic cockatiels" [shimmery honey-amber]
chanel e/s "complice" [frosty light peach]
rouge bunny rouge e/s "periwinkle cardinal" [silvery cool sage green]
mac pigment "partylicious" [bright turquoise with gold shimmer]*
gosh liquid liner "brown" [ebony wood matte brown]
mac eye kohl "fascinating" [white]
benefit bad gal mascara

cheeks ::
mac mineralize trio bronzer/ blush/ highlighter "pink power" [light warm brown, shimmery coral-pink, frosty pink-beige]*

lips ::
mac lip pencil "in synch" [light yellow pink]
mac l/s "creme d'nude" [pink-tinged beige]

*suggested alternates :: partylicious = tarina tarantino "ozma" [quite muted in comparison]; pink power = guerlain terracotta bronzer 01 + nars deep throat + mac soft & gentle mineralize skinfinish; i had heard that "in synch" was limited, but it still seems to be available [and not marked as limited] on the mac web site; if you can't find it, in synch = mac prolongwear lip pencil "in anticipation" [brighter]

so... love 'em or leave 'em when it comes to nude lips? i have to say that i'm still way more comfortable with my typical bold lip shade [really, that's the look that i go back to day after day, even for office wear], but i don't hate this. it's definitely something i could see trying out from time to time, especially if i found a really perfect shade to work with that wasn't as tricky to apply. feel free to share your thoughts!


as long as you're here, why not read more?


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: soft touch

ah winter, how my lips hate you. it's too bad, really, because the rest of me likes winter, down to about -12 or so. but there's no arguing that i get dried out. nuxe rĂªve de miel is my super best friend at this time of year, even more so than otherwise. [i gave bite's agave lip mask a try only to find out i'm allergic to something in it.] but our [still] new apartment is somewhat drier than the old one [electric vs hot water heating], which meant that, for a long stretch, virtually every kind of lipstick was uncomfortable. the horror. [i wrote a post a while back about the formulas that are friendliest to chapped lips.]

faced with this dilemma, i decided to try something not exactly new, but [for me], out of the ordinary: being a gloss girl. now, i don't mind glosses. i buy them from time to time, and i used to buy more until i discovered that i just wasn't using them near enough to justify the continued purchases. my issues with glosses are that they feather…

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…