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making faces :: inspired by... hangovers?

facebook ads and suggestions are a curious beast [and one that i've discussed before], because i've found that they're either dead-on accurate or hilariously inappropriate. there's no middle ground. one of the "very appropriate" types of posts they suggest are makeup tutorials, which are helpful to me because, without some kind of visibility on other things that are happening, i tend to fall into a rut. ["you know what would be incredible today? neutral eyes and deep berry-coloured lips! it will be totally different than the last twenty days, because the eyes will be a smidgen more gold and the lips will lean a little less red. awesome!"] of course, my usual practice is to give them a glance, think that a look might be interesting to try and then forget them. but there was one recently that stood out to the point where i quickly saved the link, knowing that i had to try it out.

japan and korea are basically where every new makeup trend comes from, because they're one of the only place that experiments with things like colour placement in a way that's actually wearable. everywhere else just looks at what comes down the runways during fashion weeks and gushes that women in america and europe will absolutely be wearing the lash-to-brow, electric blue eyeshadow they saw in the armani show, or the daring cosmetic bruises and eyebrow bolts that were featured by gareth pugh. [yes, i made those up. no, i wouldn't be surprised if they actually happened.] i have yet to adapt any runway trend for everyday use, because the purpose of runway makeup is to form a uniform base for the presentation of the clothing. it can be nude or striking, but the point of it is that it's supposed to be an accessory, just like a bracelet, sets off the thing you're supposed to be paying attention to.

but i had to say that i scratched my head when i saw this video from mac pop up in my feed, promising to show me how to achieve the latest hot trend in japan. ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the hangover cheek:

the what now?

i don't think i have ever aspired to look hungover, in fact, i'm pretty sure i have used vast amounts of concealer and brightening agents to disguise the fact that i was hungover. it's just a bad look on everyone, right?

apparently not, because the new thing, as you can see, is to imitate that overindulged flush that comes from thinking you'll just stay for one more pint and, ok, one more round of shots, before going home, because you know that you promised your family you'd be ready bright and early for brunch tomorrow and under no circumstances would be wandering home while watching the sun break through the morning clouds. [the model in that video has never been hungover a day in her life, i'll wager, because no one with glowing skin like that would dare risk interfering with its beauty. those of us who aren't thus gifted can feel free to damage ourselves, which is the trade off you get for imperfect skin, i guess.]

the essence of the look is applying a soft colour fairly liberally to the cheeks, blending it well and keeping it high on the cheekbones, followed by adding a slightly brighter colour right over that blush towards the centre, again staying very high, almost closing in on the undereye area. like i said, looks from japan and korea are much more about placement and subtle emphasis.

for my take, since i had the base colour used in the video [mac "dainty"] and love it, it was an easy choice to go with that. however, i don't have the emphasis colour that the artist uses, nor do i have anything like that in a cream. i chose to use another mac product, "alpha girl" beauty powder, which is more coral and less pink than what's used in the video, but still blends well and isn't so bright that it calls attention to itself.

the look is not dissimilar to charlotte tilbury's "swish and pop" technique, which she favours so much that her blush line is designed to do it, but the focus on keeping the colour up high on the face is something that seems particular to looking attractively hungover.

of course, when i wear the hangover look [inadvertently], there's often a stubborn element of "makeup from the night before" that features, so rather than stick with the mostly naked eye seen in the tutorial, i went whole hog and did a messy smoky eye that's more artful than what i can never manage to entirely scrub off my face.

to accomplish this, i used charlotte tilbury's cream shadow in "veruschka", something i've been meaning to pull out since watching blow up a few weeks ago. [and, yes, the shadow does a good job of mimicking the smudgy halo around her eyes both in the movie and in her iconic magazine cover photo shoots.] i decided to keep the whole thing a bit dark and muted, so i skipped the highlight shade i'd normally apply along my brows, opting instead for rouge bunny rouge "papyrus canary", a parchment shade that's a bit deeper and yellower than my skin tone. i used mac "arena" to soften the transition between "veruschka" and "papyrus canary", and tarina tarantino's dream hyperliner in "sparkling ammunition" around the upper and lower water lines [heavier on the lower] for some definition.

i took up the video's suggestion that this look was best completed with a shimmery colour applied from the inner corner along the lower lash line, because shimmery colour that worked its way down from my lids is a frequent component of that "i went out last night" look for me. i used rouge bunny rouge "alabaster starling" on the inner corner and the inner portion of the lower lid, then the first shade from rbr's "chronos" eyeshadow palette on the outer part of the lid. to add just a bit of light to the upper lid, i pressed a tiny bit of the "chronos" colour over "veruschka", around the centre, leaning slightly towards the inside.

to round things off, i wore mac "plink!", a soft seashell pink shade that's a little paler than my lip colour. because when i've had one [at least] too many the night before, my morning lips do tend to look a little drained.

ok, here are a couple of "normal" photos, so you can see how the look reads overall.

i'm kind of impressed, because the cheek really does give a rather sweet character to my face, and draws just a little focus to the plumpest part of my cheeks. [at my age, plump cheeks are a luxury that one wants to advertise.]

so the next time i'm questioning my activities from the previous night [both why i did them and what they were], i think i'll opt to hide in plain sight: i'm not hungover, i've made myself up to look hungover, because that's the look du jour. now, hand me the french fries and no one gets hurt. 


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…

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …