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making faces :: learn from my fail

it's happened to all of us. we think that we're doing a great job of giving ourselves a fresh, interesting look only to view the final results in the mirror and ask: what the hell happened?

i'm not a big one on making or following rules when it comes to what we do to our faces. i wore dark and/ or very bright colours even when i was platinum blonde, i do pair dramatic eyes and lips if the occasion warrants, i figure you can combine just about any colours as long as you have an idea of what the overall look should be. however, being adventurous and wanting to constantly try out new public masks means that i'm more prone than most to having my experiments go off-track.

and so, personally painful as this may be, i've chosen a few examples of things that i've done wrong in the hopes of illustrating what you should seek to avoid. prepare yourselves for the hall of shame...

DARE YOU ENTER THE HOUSE OF COSMETIC HORRORS?




"smoke damage"

smoke bomb
i've previously posted about my love of smoky-eyed looks and while i maintain that these are pretty simple to do, it is possible to go wrong. in this case, it's pretty simple. i kept adding and blending until what i had around my eyes was a big smudgy grey mess. complicating this is the fact that i didn't use some kind of concealer to cover up the dark spots in the inner corners of my eyes. while that might have been fine under normal conditions, combining this with the smoked look means it literally looks like i was in some kind of fire and am in need of assistance. [particularly when you add in the fact that i apparently thought it would balance this if i attacked my already damaged face with a heavy coat of bronzer.]

moral of the story :: know when to say when. check what you're doing carefully in the mirror as you go along and keep in mind that, especially during the day, you do not need your makeup to be noticeable from a distance.



"spot the mistake"

this one isn't the end of the world when i have my eyes all the way open. again, it looks like a sort of smoky eye with a bronze lip. it's perhaps a little severe, because all the colour is fairly heavy and sombre, but what really makes me scratch my head is the fact that, for some reason, i chose to add this bright splotch of orange on my lids, so that whenever i look down, it appears that i have markdown stickers affixed to my eyes.

uh, surprise?
i'm sure that i thought i was being playful by adding a dash of colour, but the rest of the look is so "serious" that it just looks weird. and to make things worse, the darker colours around the orange lids make the colour look faded and washed out rather than vibrant.

moral of the story :: stick with the theme. if you've started with a look that's quite conservative or formal, think twice before adding an element that's going to stick out and find ways to make sure that it isn't so jarring. in this case, softer colour around the eyes would have helped a lot.



blah blah blah
"beware of the blob"

i'm very aware of how pale i am, plus i have very light eyes, which means that there is a danger that i can look completely washed out, like a large blancmange ringed in dark hair with no distinguishing features. normally, makeup combats that effect, but what we have here is a case where somehow, makeup accentuates the problem. how the heck does makeup end up making you look more drained and colourless than normal?
give it some lip

well, there's nothing wrong with a natural look and i think the eyes [which i actually like on their own] are a pretty soft treatment. the problem is that i've paired this with a very pale and unnatural lip, which stands out. everything is kind of pale and milky, but the elements don't jive, there's no sense of unity. i managed to redeem this a little by switching lipsticks, so that there was at least an element that stands out.

moral of the story :: know your weaknesses. at its most basic, makeup should be a way of building on your best features and drawing the eye away from problem areas. the only way to do that is to be honest with yourself [not overly critical- honest] about your best points and the things that you'd rather people didn't notice.



starts ok...
"rough cut"

a "cut crease" is a makeup look where there is a sharp line drawn along the brow bone to define the mobile lid from the part under the brow. it adds incredible definition and depth to the eye, which is one of the reasons it is consistently popular. it can be done in a number of ways and one of the most popular is to have the dividing line be in a colour that sharply contrasts with what is above and below.

touble ahead
the problem is that if you're going to do it that way, you need to make sure that you have a really clean, crisp line or else it just looks terribly messy. guess who used a brush that was too thick to make her line? you can see when i have my eyes all the way open that i am getting that desired definition of the eye, but the more i look down, the worse it gets. the line is thick and smudgy, like it was inexpertly drawn on by a child with a crayon, rather than by someone who knew what they were doing.

and we have fail
moral of the story :: the right tool for the right job. if you're going to attempt something that's slightly tricky, find out what experts use to get that look and don't assume you can make do with what you have at your disposal. [with simpler looks, you can do that, but if technique is involved, it's a different matter.] it's your face. if a look is worth doing, it's worth doing right.



"frostilicus"

shows potential
playing with textures is one of the great things that modern cosmetic manufacturing techniques allows us to do. however, you have to remember that with the gaudier and more obvious finishes, a little goes a long way. it's very easy to add subtle brilliance to a room with beaded cushions, sparkling accessories, etc., but it takes a very, very cautious hand to get away with sequined floor-length curtains and a lamé cover for the sofa. makeup works the same way.

shows a mess
it really irritates me that i didn't keep this in mind when i was doing this look, because from the bridge of the nose down, i quite like it. a dab of concealer on the lips means that the creamy nude colour lipstick i have on looks nice and even and i like the pink flush in the cheeks. i remember that i wanted something a little lustrous for the eyes, but it's quite obvious that i let that idea run away with me, because what i've ended up with is so overly frosty, it looks like i'm encrusted. this is especially bad since i'm old enough to have established crow's feet, where shimmery particles will tend to settle. instead i used a sparkly base and layered some very frosty shadows over it.

moral of the story :: don't be afraid to alter the plan. if i'd paid attention to the level of frostiness i was getting as i applied each successive product, i would have realised that what i was getting was not the subtle lustre i had in mind but, well, this. i went in with an idea of how i was going to create a look and didn't ever entertain the idea that i could be misguided.

so there you have it. these are just some of my misfires [believe me, there are others]. they are far from my proudest moments, but i hope that they help show some common areas where things can go wrong. sometimes you need to accept that your best role may be to serve as a negative example to others. now let's never speak of it again.

Comments

xasperadastra said…
uhh I make disasters most of the time and mine are really worst!! I'm not very able in blending eyeshadow and if I don't pay attention I find on my eyes blotch of colors... other times I give my crease an ugly shape.. not round at all!! Some times the miracle happens and I create cute things ... but I still don't understand why this doesn't happen every time ^^
Very entertaining! It takes me back to my obsession with the 'cut crease'. I was literally addicted to it as a teenager.
flora_mundi said…
I think a lot of it is a matter of trial and error. Mostly, I try to remember what worked and then try doing the same thing with different colours.
PerilouslyPale said…
LOL thanks so much for sharing this with us! What a fun post ;-)
flora_mundi said…
Ah, if you can't laugh at yourself, other people are going to anyway... It was my pleasure and I'm very glad you enjoyed it.

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