Monday, November 28, 2011

Makeup is Pretty

So, I really like makeup. Sometimes in a purely functional way, in the sense that I don't like showing off blemishes so I'm happy I can cover them up. But most of the time I like the creative, fun, playful, painterly aspect of makeup. I like colors and shimmers and messing around with different looks, especially those of bygone era's. Sadly, I don't really get to do this much at the moment since I'm at home with the cats all day and they don't really care about how awesome my eyeshadow combo is.

Sephora and MAC are probably my fave makeup sites because they display everything so nicely and have huge selections of colors. It's very similar to when I got to the art store and look at the various paint shades and finishes.

Overall, I'm not a huge fan of "matte" as a texture. Not on my skin and not in my work. It just tends to look too flat and unreal to me, so I usually opt for makeup that has some kind of "glow"...although there are many levels of "glow" from subtle to cabaret bam!. For every day you generally want a healthy, natural glow. A Twilight level of sparkle is a bit much for errand running and grocery shopping.

That said, I still gravitate towards glittery-as-a-fairies-butt eyeshadows most of the time. And generally not in neutral, subdued shades. The older I get the more I like bright colors for some reason. And the more I just don't give a fuck what other people think.'s a list of makeups I like that is in no way complete because I'm constantly picking up new stuff. I do make an effort to use brands that don't test on animals but I'm also budget conscious because I can spend way too much money at Sephora in a split second, especially if my period is anywhere in the mix. So sometimes I do sacrifice some personal ethics so as not to be completely broke. Also, there comes a point at which no one "needs" any more eyeshadows. I only have two eyelids and so many days in the year.


1. I use Aromaleigh's mineral makeup in a blend of Alabaster, 1Y, and 1P mixed with their Illuminator in a generous amount. Unfortunately Aromaleigh doesn't make face makeup anymore after some change ups, but I bought enough when they were stopping that I should be good for at least a year. Then I'll have to figure something else out, unfortunately. A little goes a long way, honestly. And it doesn't irritate my skin or make it break out, and it's not heavy or masklike. I don't think I could go back to liquid foundation at this point, I'm so used to both the technique and feel of minerals. I personally use a flocked sponge to apply because I got a horrible rash from a face brush once, my skin is that sensitive.

2. Amazing Cosmetics Concealer in Fair. This stuff is ridiculously expensive in a full tube, but you can get a travel sized one at Ulta for half the price and it lasts FOREVER. You only need the teeniest, tiniest amount to cover dark circles or blemishes. And it really does cover them up and blend them in seamlessly, in any lighting. Which is fantastic. I'm really, really, really pale so it's unusual for me to find a concealer that isn't too dark, too orange, or too pink.

3. Maybelline cover stick in White. I only use this for Halloween, really, because it's waterproof and pretty high coverage, and cheap. It'll make your face a nice, nearly white, canvas for dead styles of makeup. I doubt it's great for your skin, but, it's a good cheap alternative. And if you're fair skinned enough it's a decent regular concealer.

3. Physicians Formula Shimmer Strip in Healthy Glow. This is technically a blush kit, but it's also got a highlighter and 3 shades of "blush". Now, personally, I don't generally need blush because I have pre-Rosacea and my cheeks are naturally pink-red depending on the weather, heat, or embarrassment level. What this kit does for me is actually give me a nice set of colors for use on the eyes, lips, and cheeks, for a natural look that also emphasizes my eye-color. It's not terribly expensive but it is a great "all purpose" product. They have a bunch of different sets for different skin tones. I found this very useful on my last few trips to cut down on carrying too many products around. It functioned just fine for everything and kept me from looking totally dead after a cross country flight.


*First, a tip. Depending on your eyecolor and skintone you should try using a contrasting color to make them standout. I have blue/green eyes so pinks, reds, and corals make them seem bluer. Copper has a similar effect. Purples make them seem greener, and browns and greys make them look sort of grey. Check out a color wheel and play around.

1. Makeup Forever Eyeliner. I have this in black, smoky gray, and a deep plum. I love them all. They stay put, make AWESOME smokey eyes, and are very easy to use and non-irritating. I don't really bother trying other eyeliners anymore because these just work and last quite a long time with maintenance. Ie. sharpen them regularly and be mindful of bacteria.

2. Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Lounge, Woodstock and their Deluxe eyeshadow in Fishnet. Woodstock is an incredibly vibrant hot pink and Fishnet is the most gorgeously nuanced shade of purple/pink with a hot blue shimmer. It's sort of the equivalent of the purple eyeshadow Disney villainesses are always sporting. I'm very fond of both because they're nicely pigmented, go on smooth, and make my eye color pop. Lounge is a brown/green that's really lovely and unusual, but great for pretty much any eyecolor. Also: most of their Deluxe eyeshadows are vibrant and true to hue no matter your skin tone. Which is great when you want a very dramatic pop of color. Which I usually do.

3. Aromaleigh Eyeshadows. Thankfully Aromaleigh is now making some limited sets again. Their eyeshadows were always immensely gorgeous. I have way too many to list them all, but they're worth checking out. Very layered colors, from high shine to frosts to glitters, to mattes. They last, they're really lovely, and they tend to have fun names. You also usually get quite a lot for the money. Some of my favorites over the years have been: Lilith, Ophelia, Grace, Drama Teal, Papillon, Flowers of Romance, Dirty Deeds, Strychnine, Cocoa Mauve, Mania's Locus, Phantasm, Nightshade, Dragon Scales, and on and on. Aromaleigh got me to try colors I never would have otherwise.

4. MAC eyeshadows in Shale, Shadowy Lady and Smut. Shale is a kind of mauvey gray that's subtle and more natural. Shadowly Lady is a deep gray purple, great for lining and drama. And Smut is a blackened red that makes blue eyes pop. I recommend going to a MAC counter or store to pick out shades, though. The pics on their site tend to be a bit misleading and I find the descriptions often seem counter what the pic shows.

5. Mascara. I prefer clear mascara, but I do like Benefits Badgal in black. Very simple and effective. Separates, lengthens, nothing too fancy or frilly and doesn't flake off.

6. Eyelash curler. For years I didn't see the point nor did I get how you could use one without hurting yourself. Then I figured it out and suddenly realized how it opened up the eyes and made the lashes more noticeable, mascara or no. I am a convert.

7. Eyebrows. I just groom mine with clear mascara sometimes. I don't fill them in or do anything fancy besides pluck when they look too wild. I prefer Tweezerman tweezers, though. Trust me, it'll save you a lot of frustration and owies.


I love lipstick but I rarely wear it, likewise gloss. I feel weird reapplying it because I feel like I'm putting on a show. So what you'll mostly see here are tints or balms.

1. Fresh tinted balms in Plum and Pink. These are ridiculously expensive but the colors are amazing. And they have a new red one I really want to try. They're moisturizing, the colors are layerable, and they're in a tube so you're not trying to deal with a wand.

2. Stila's Lip/Cheek Stain in Cherry. This is my go-to. It's a stain that supposedly adjusts to your individual lip tone. I have no idea if that's true, I just know it's a fantastic, long-lasting, natural looking "flush". Kind of like I just ate a cherry popsicle, only more pigmented. You can also apply more than one layer for more color. It's not drying, but I use lipbalm regardless and it still lasts.

3. Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. I love this color and find it to be just the right pop when I want a more sophisticated lip that isn't too much. Goes on smooth, easy to reapply. Not hugely long-lasting, but, eh.

4. Lipbalms! I'm kind of a lipbalm junkie. I tend to have like 4 in my bag at all times. Plus one in the car, in a coat, etc. I have lots of different kinds. Carmex in the little tin thing for when I need exfoliation or have a fever blister, Nivea with SPF, Softlips, another Carmex only in a stick, Blistex, and I just got 4 natural lipbalms from an Etsy shop called AutumnBalmBotanicals. They smell awesome and feel great. The Peppermint even has a touch of shimmer.

The only sort of cosmetics I really don't go in for are nail polish and anything contouring. Nail Polish looks pretty but I can't stand the way it feels on my hands, and I'm not keen on the chemicals. Other than that, I tend to just have fun with it. I'm still looking for the perfect red lipstick, though...

Next time: Hair Stuff

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