pictorial makeup


Dark Dramatic Plum Lips, Soft Plum Eyes

Did this look last week using an expensive Dior palette but I decided to recreate a pictorial for it using something that’s a bit more accessible AND (more importantly) not limited edition, so more of you can try it!

Dark plum lips are actually flattering for most people and most skintones as long as you stick with the reddish/violet plums. Avoid the brown-plums because those are much trickier to pull off and can just make your face look dull and dirty.

For this soft silky eye look (which complements but won’t overpower that dark glossy lip) you just need the Urban Decay Shadow Box. I’ve marked out the shades used in the image above. 

An optional step is applying cluster lashes. I wanted fluttery fullness but not the darkness and harshness of black mascara and liner. But if you need, just skip it and apply regular mascara. 

For the cheeks, I used a discontinued mauve blush from YSL, but just use any neutral or cool-toned pink blush. Skip the super-shimmery ones. You want your cheeks to be very muted so that it’s not fighting for attention with your lips and eyes.

As for that dark glittery glossy lip, it’s all about layering. I used MAC Fashion Revival and coated it generously with Lime Crime’s Carousel Lip Gloss in Present.

Neither dark lipstick nor dark gloss will be as intense and dramatic on their own. But if you can layer, you get opaque color AND a lacquer like shine. (You can use a dark plum lip liner in place of lipstick too; that lasts longer. But it’s just easier to find a dark plum lipstick for most people. And I’d recommend looking for a matte texture so it doesn’t bleed the way a cream lipstick will once the gloss goes on.)

Just remember to apply concealer or foundation around the rim of your lips to even out the color, and make sure you also conceal any unevenness around your face because dark lipstick tends to emphasize those.


Electric: Duochrome Violet Eye Look

This is a quick look that you can put together with any deep duochrome shadow. I used a violet-blue, but you can do pink-blue, green-brown, blue-brown, etc. 

You will also need:

  1. Black cream base
  2. A pale shadow in a contrasting tone from the duochrome color
  3. Matte black shadow
  4. Black gel liner
  5. Mascara
  6. Rosy neutral blush (I used MISSHA Prism Dot Blush 01)
  7. Nude liner (I used Make Up Store Nude Beauty)
  8. Soft pink-based nude lipstick (Dior Rouge Dior Nude 263 Swan)

I Nuovi is no longer available in many countries, so similar colors are Inglot #439 (probably the closest alternative) and #UrbanDecay Omen which is a lighter, more girly version of the color. 

Makeup Tools: Brushes are great, fabulous even, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret: there are so many other tools out there that can make makeup application a heck of a lot easier. Some of the things above probably seem a little out there (you’re probably thinking “why on earth do I need sticky tape and spoons for my makeup?”) BUT if you’re a beginner with makeup (or just a bit clumsy) some of these tools can completely change the way you apply your makeup.

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Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Palette - Boring? Not.

I got some comments from those who were not sure quite what to make of the new UD x Gwen palette, which features - surprisingly for a lot of people - a whole lotta neutrals.

[NOTE: the animated gif images load better/faster on computers than on phones.]

Many were expecting that the palette would have some “radical” colors. Instead it’s filled with classic taupes, beiges, ivories, browns, black and just three “color” shades; a candy pink, rich cobalt blue, and yellow-gold.

I personally love the configuration. This is Naked with a shot of Vice thrown in. It’s versatile and wearable enough that it won’t sit in the back of your closet, but has just enough colorful shades to change things up and not be too boring.

I don’t find it surprising that the Gwen palette looks like this - honestly she wears very classic makeup colors most of the time. She does either a very 40s-50s vintage look with red/fuchsia lips, or a modern black/beige smoky eye with soft lips. You don’t often see her with green and purple and orange shadows.

Tip for use: Pick your neutrals, and add ONE of the three color shades to jazz things up. It’s how I usually recommend people wear strong colors anyway. Color-on-color looks nice in photos but can be garish in real life. It’s up to you though!

P.S. the lip shade I’m wearing is Ex Girlfriend, one of the Gwen lipstick shades for UD.


Tom Ford Golden Mink Eye Palette Pictorial (aka what to do with sparkle shades in eye palettes)

If you’ve ever tried or bought one of those palettes with some transparent sparkly shades, you’ll know they sometimes aren’t the most easy to work with. The glitter shades come in a transparent base, so when you apply them alone, there is almost no color. Just a scattering of sparkles.

Tom Ford’s Eyeshadow Palette 01 Golden Mink is one of those. 

Tip: You can wear the glitter shades on their own as a wash all over the lid, but my preferred way of wearing them is as accents, to create a gleaming, “wet” effect when you blink.

This is a warm-toned face I very often wear on work days and lazy days.

Products used:

  1. Base: MAC Face and Body foundation N2
  2. Concealer: Lancome Le Correcteur Pro concealer
  3. Setting powder: Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder
  4. Blush: Lancome Blush Subtil 030 Eclat de Corail
  5. Guerlain Ecrin Sourcil brow powder compact
  6. Eyeshadow palette: Tom Ford 01 Golden Mink
  7. Brown liner: NYX Skinny Brown Liner (I LOVE this thing. It’s such a bargain and such a great matte brown automatic pencil to draw flicks with because of the super-fine point. Highly-recommend!)
  8. Black mascara: Givenchy Phenomen'eyes mascara in 01 Black
  9. Lipgloss: Nars Deepthroat (I actually applied the gloss first)
  10. Lipstick: YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in 14 Corail In Touch (I ran this lightly over the gloss for additional color but kept everything still translucent and jelly-like)
  1. Start with a clean, primed eyelid.
  2. Using your finger, pat a mixture of shades 1 and 2 on the first half of your lid. 
  3. With a flat shadow brush, pat shade 3 on the second half of the lid.
  4. With a fluffy blending brush, buff shade 4 (”Camel”) in the crease and buff upwards.
  5. For more definition blend shade 5 (”Mulberry”) directly into the crease.
  6. Next, take shade 6 (”Merlot”), using a small shader brush and apply to the outer V.
  7. For an extra pop, pat shade 5 over the second half of the lid.
  8. On the lower lash line, blend 2 halfway in using a fluffy smudger brush.
  9. From the outer lower lash line buff shade 5 in and blend towards the center.
  10. Using your finger or small smudger, pat shade 7 onto the inner corner.
  11. Apply a liner (I used the Rimmel Gel liner).
  12. Apply lashes (Kiss “Shy”) and mascara (Covergirl Super Sizer).