6 looks for 6 months

Man, I derive so much joy from doing makeup. I just sit down, fire up the Young Turks, and meditatively pile color upon color onto my face. I’d never had any kind of craftsy hobby before I took up makeup at age 28, so it was an opportunity to develop some visual skills, to learn the basics of shape and texture and color. This year, I’ve been having the most pleasurable time with this hobby so far. I don’t struggle with technique as much anymore, which allows me to just enjoy the ride.

Over the past six months, I’ve worn a lot of looks that I loved–alas, photography is not my strongest suit, so most of them were lost to history. However, I managed to snap a few–here are six of my favorites. Some of those looks are kind of psychedelic, but I did wear them all “out on the town,” even the blue lipstick one. As much as I love putting makeup on my face, I hate doing it “just for myself”–if I don’t go out that day, I don’t wear makeup at all. Two looks are my office faces, and the rest are for date nights or other outings.

IMG_0850

Eyeshadow blending is overrated. Well, I like waving my blending brush around as much as the next guy does, but sometimes a neon splotch is enough. The contrast of orange (Urban Decay Slowburn) with a plummy shade (Zoeva Alloy) was inspired by this orange-and-purple look by Karla Garcia. The zombie lipstick is Thistle by Bite Beauty, part of the Amuse Bouche line. I love those suckers–they’re slippery, but pretty moisturizing and comfortable.

IMG_1061

Red, red, red. This was a time in my life when I was wondering: why do I even bother wearing colors that are not red? Lucia Pica of Chanel knows how to honor this color, so naturally, she was my inspiration for this look. Here, Lucia combined the red with a little bit of purple, so I did a halo with the epic Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette and the purple shade from Shu Uemura Cool x Chic.

IMG_0910

This blue. NYX Liquid Suede in Jet Set is so flowery! I refuse to call this color crazy or corpsey or weird. Such blues (as well as deep blacks and greens) should have the same “classic” clout that red lipsticks do. Aside from the lipstick, there’s also the fact that in 2017, I rediscovered black eyeshadow. I don’t remember which one I wore for this look, but I can say for sure that the best, baddest one in my collection is Urban Decay Blackout.

IMG_0902

All of the looks so far have been kind of nsfw (“weekend faces” for me), so here’s one I wore to the office. My best friend says I look so 90s on this pic. This was the only time in recent memory I wore matte grey eyeshadows (the central quad from Kat Von D Shade and Light). I also wore my favorite blush, Too Faced Baby Love, which is seriously awesome. This blush is quite pigmented, but so soft and malleable that it’s impossible to mess it up. The lipstick is Give Me Mocha by Wet n Wild, from their new liquid matte line. It’s much cheaper than Kat Von D and TheBalm liquid lipsticks, but pretty much the same quality-wise.

IMG_1038

I’m only starting to explore the wondrous world of Urban Decay Moondust glitters. On their own, they are pretty subtle, but on top of some glitter primer… now we’re talking. Besides the blue Magnetic glitter, I’m wearing the Kiko lipstick in 436 Cold Brown. It brings memories of running around with my best friend, who bought the same lipstick when we visited Kiko together. On her, the color looks like a mysterious, medium dark taupe/mauve/purple, and on me, it pulls more earthy and zombie-like.

img_0484

Reddish eyeshadows in a fuzzy-edged shape and sheer lipstick. This is the kind of face that I often wear on a day-to-day basis, so it’s fitting that I chose this pic to announce the Spiders and Caterpillars blog project on Instagram. The palette I used for this look is TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony. I haven’t written much about it on this blog, but this palette is one of my favorite products. Coming up with interesting looks with just Meet Matt(e) Trimony has been a challenge, but it truly shines when combined with metallics or shimmers.

Two Kiko Lipsticks: 436 Cold Brown and 205 Wine

When I visited Europe a few weeks ago, one of my makeup-collector goals for the trip was to check out the budget brand Kiko. I was excited about the Water eyeshadows–one of my all-time favorites, the burgundy 203, belongs to that line–and the much buzzed-about shadow sticks.

Beyond those eye products, I wasn’t sure what to look for. For some reason, I expected Kiko to be the European NYX, however it seems like NYX has a wider range of non-traditional lipstick shades. Kiko does carry some attractive vivid brights, but what ultimately caught my interest were two less conspicuous options. They weren’t prominently displayed, but their colors spoke to my sensibilities. Both lipsticks turned out truly comfortable to wear–just like balms. I had brought a few liquid mattes on vacation with me, to not worry about longevity, but I ended up not needing them and just wearing Kiko for the rest of the trip.

IMG_1033

Left: Glossy Dream Sheer Lipstick in 205 Wine. Right: Smart Fusion Lipstick in 436 Cold Brown.

Smart Fusion Lipstick in 436 Cold Brown

436 Cold Brown is a taupe, something that Michèle Lamy might want to wear.

IMG_5451
From Interview Magazine

Smart Fusion is one of Kiko’s cheaper lines, with every lipstick having a matching pencil. I didn’t buy a pencil, but it’s clear why Smart Fusion might need one. These lipsticks are so creamy they easily slip around. My friend, who also bought a tube of 436 Cold Brown, says it applies patchy on her, and she has to even it out with a finger. I think that formula- and finish-wise, Smart Fusion is very similar to Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche, which has the same slippiness issue.

I actually thought that the Amuse Bouche lipstick in Thistle would be close in color to 436 Cold Brown. But when I swatched them side by side, it was clear that the Kiko is much more brown.

IMG_1036

Left: Kiko 436 Soft Brown. Right: Bite Beauty Thistle.

I don’t wear Thistle too often, because it makes me look like a like a glamorous cadaver. But when I do, I often create bombastic looks that turn out to be my all-time favorites: 1, 2. I expect that 436 Cold Brown will play the same role in my collection. (Man, what can be more 2010s than colorful/glittery eye looks with corpsey lipsticks?) Case in point: the look I did yesterday, which I adore.

I wore 436 Cold Brown with an eye look centered on Urban Decay’s trippy Magnetic glitter (from the Moondust palette). Magnetic consists of blue and violet sparkles in a purple base. I’ve heard that Moondust glitters work well with a black pencil base, however I don’t know much about black pencils, and the one I used, NARS Via Veneto, turned out to be unblendable. I swished a matte black eyeshadow, Urban Decay Blackout, on top of the pencil and applied a thin layer of Darling Girl Glitter Glue. Once the glue dried down, I packed Magnetic onto the lids with my finger. The Moondust glitters are usually pretty subtle and fly all over the place, but all the prep allowed Magnetic to truly showcase its beauty, with no fallout. The blush I used for this look is Your Love Is King by Too Faced, a deep pink that creates a natural flush/ slight sunburn effect on my skin.

IMG_1038

Glossy Dream Sheer Lipstick in 205 Wine

Since I was a tiny little teenager in 2000 obsessed with Placebo, I’ve had a particular affinity for “my lips but darker and shinier”-type products. I’m not sure if the Placebo man wore such lip colors, but for some reason it was etched into my mind that he did. Over the years, I’ve had a number of lipsticks and glosses that performed this function, and 205 Wine is just another iteration of the concept.

205 Wine is (to me) a great everyday option that combines the qualities of a lipstick, a gloss, and a balm. The only issue I see is that the product is full of humongous glitter chunks, which to me seems outmoded. Those chunks, lying flat on a faint strip of color, are what’s left of the look after a meal. I don’t mind the glitter that much, but I know it might be an issue for some, so beware. Here’s 205 Wine compared to Too Faced La Creme in Bumbleberry–the glitter is obvious.

IMG_1040

Left: Kiko 205 Wine. Right: Too Faced Bumbleberry.

For the look below, I applied 205 Wine “in full force” with the bullet. On my eyes, I’m wearing a few shades from the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette, a not-too-shabby sale catch for $25. I used Anaheim (light brown) in the outer crease and Stark (light beige) to soften the edges, then 1987 (yellow gold) on the lid and Punk (deep burgundy) in the outer corner. On my cheeks is my favorite blush, Too Faced Baby Love, which I grab when I’m lazy because it goes with everything.

IMG_1024

And here I just lightly tapped my lips with 205 Wine, as I wanted the focus of the look to be on the blush–Sleek Flushed, reviewed here. The eye makeup has, coincidentally, the same gold and burgundy color scheme, however instead of the ultra-pigmented Urban Decay eyeshadows, I went for the soft blendiness of Viseart Petit Pro. The idea is the same: brown in the crease, burgundy in the outer corner, gold on the lid.

IMG_1008