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making faces :: every day is halloween

"ask if we're melting again, jerkface."
i think we've established that i'm a big fan of this time of year. whether it's spooky camp [now there's a place i should have gone as a child] or chilling tales of the paranormal, there is just something in me that is drawn to things that are a little creepy. of course, i don't just get this way once a year [although it's a nice excuse] and the rest of the time, i like to find little ways to incorporate that part of myself into everyday routines. so while i might not really be able to wear a costume most days, i can make little adjustments to how i look.

here are a few ideas i've tried out recently, that can help to bring a little sorcery to your life at any time.

vampy lip

nothing says "i'm trouble" like a deep dark lip. it's also a great way to get ready in a hurry, since you don't want to do a lot to distract from your statement lip. i used a mac classic here, "cyber" which is an ultra-dark blackish purple. it's a shade that has a kind of cult following- i've had people mention it to me by name.

the trickiest part about pulling off a dark lip is actually getting your lips ready for their big night out. [i do generally reserve this sort of look for night wear myself.] to give these shades maximum impact, the finishes are often on the drier side. that's great for effect, but it also means that it can be tricky to get the application nice and even. [i don't think i quite achieved that in these photos.] a good lip exfoliant helps, particularly during colder weather. lush has really nice ones, but you can also make a pretty decent one at home using sugar and olive oil. to get the best and most even coverage, you'll want to start with a liner to get a nice, crisp edge and then apply in layers with a lip brush. hands up everyone who has the patience to do that? [hint: my hand isn't up.]

like most people, i apply lipstick from the tube, because that's how i was "taught" to do it. i have a lip brush and i use it about once a year, when i'm feeling ambitious. it's by no means impossible to get a good, smooth finish without going to a lot of trouble. my advice is to do a couple of layers- light at first to form a base and then slightly heavier to build up the colour.

products used [limited edition/ discontinued products are marked with an asterisk]::

face [same for all looks] ::
mac prolongwear foundation "nc15"
diorskin nude hydrating concealer "001"

eyes ::

mac e/s "family treasure" [light peachy-gold]
mac e/s "manila paper"* [shimmery off-white parchment]
mac fluidline "blacktrack"
benefit they're real! mascara

blush ::
mac mineralize blush duo "new vibe"* [bronze gold/ rosy plum]

lips ::
mac l/s "cyber" [blackish purple]

suggested alternates :: manila paper = mac nylon [frostier, yellower], mac dazzlelight [cooler]; family treasure = mac goldmine [brighter, yellower]; new vibe = mac love thing + guerlain terra inca sublime radiance powder

SEE TWO MORE EXAMPLES, PLUS A HALLOWEEN-IE MANICURE...



pale as a ghost

this is something that's not going to work on all complexions, i grant you and it's the kind of thing that won't be to everybody's taste, but i really like this kind of dramatic take on the smoky eye/ pale lip combination, taking it to an ethereal extreme. [i'd also like to point out that the photos aren't doing this look any favours. it was super-cloudy on this particular day, so the photos look pretty dull.]

i made everything as pale as possible so that the attention is focused on the eyes, however, the highlighter on my cheeks did catch the light really nicely, giving me a sort of soft glow [that you can't really see in the stupid pictures]. the lipstick is pure white, but because it's not totally opaque, it allows some of my natural lip colour to peek through. of course, to mute my lips further, i dabbed a bit of concealer on them, which makes the light colour look a little more even. in person, because of that hint of my natural lips [which are sort of mauve- pink], the colour shows as an ultra-light cool pink.

products used ::

eyes ::
mac mineralize e/s duo "hot contrast"* [satin black/ silver, pink, white and red mix]
mac e/s "satin taupe" [deep, cool taupe]
nars e/s "ashes to ashes" [light, slightly pink taupe]
mac eye kohl "smolder"
diorshow mascara

cheeks ::
mac mineralize skinfinish "lightscapade"*
mac blush "strada"*

lips ::
shu uemura l/s "white"

suggested replacements :: hot contrast = chanel illusion d'ombre illusoire [note- this is for the mixed side only, since that's what i used]; lightscapade = guerlain meteorites teint rosé; strada is being repromoted in november by mac

cat's eye

there is something undeniably sexy about a woman looking at you with dark, winged liner. imitating the natural line of the lashes for extra drama and making eyes appear brighter next to the velvety black line, there's a reason it's been consistently popular with women for whom the term "sex symbol" was coined.

worn on its own, of course, it gives you that pin-up girl allure, especially paired with a bright red lip. it's a bold, glamourous look that makes a statement [and the statement is generally "rrraaaaaawwwwrrr"]. under normal circumstances, you can capture a bit of that spark, but soften the effect by using it with other colours around the eye. you can see in the photos i did hear that the liner is there, but not in an in-your-face kind of way. of course, i still went with the crimson lip, but you could tone that down as well, either by blotting or by applying a sheerer colour.

the shades i used are almost all from mac's "leopard luxe" eye shadow quad, released, appropriately for the look, with the "fabulous felines" collection. it's a bit tricky to duplicate the shades, but i'm sure they're out there.

to get the cat's eye liner, i used an angled brush, which i find easier for making a nice, precise point than working with a pencil. it's really all a question of personal preference.

products used ::

eyes ::
mac e/s "manila paper"* [shimmery off-white parchment]
mac e/s "wild by nature"* [medium camel]
mac e/s "style predator" [frosted light yellow-orange]
mac e/s "notoriety"* [dark brown with gold shimmer]
mac e/s "furiously fabulous"* [soft brown-black]
mac fluidline "blacktrack"
diorshow mascara

cheeks ::
mac beauty powder "alpha girl"* [soft, light coral]

lips ::
mac l/s "heartless"* [cardinal red]

suggested alternates :: manila paper = mac nylon [frostier, yellower], mac dazzlelight [cooler]; wild by nature = closest shade i could come up with is one included in the guerlain eye shadow quad "les cuirs"; style predator = drew a blank here too, sorry; notoriety = nars mekong [not a great match]; furiously fabulous = mac legendary black; alpha girl = nars deep throat [applied softly]; heartless = makeup forever rouge artiste intense moulin rouge

and of course, you can always add an ultra-subtle nod to the dark side by including it in a manicure. it never ceases to amaze me that even the most conservative people seem to have no problem with anything a woman does to her nails. it could be neutrals, soft pinks and being all the way, but some sort of acid green with holographic turquoise glitter on the nails. hey, i'm not complaining. virtually every nail polish company puts out a little something to get consumers in the halloween spirit around this time, so it's great to stalk up. the two things that every company has come up with this year are glow in the dark polish and various colours of crackle finishes. the former shows as sort of an understated celadon green in the light, but allows you the infinite joy of being able to scratch at the person next to you in bed and say in a panicked voice "something's wrong with my hands!"

crackle finishes are so ubiquitous now it seems like there's some sort of concerted effort to hide the fact that they ever weren't available. they come in all sorts of colours, but i do think that the nicest is still basic black. you use these over other polishes and it dries to a crackled "cobweb" effect, allowing some of the base colour to poke through. i'm trying it out for the first time and i have to admit that, as i watch the sheer black layer dry into the finish you see now, i'd pretty much decided that the polish had paid for itself, even if it made my fingers fall off. it's pretty trippy.

in the photo on the right, i'm wearing two coats of mac "studded" [matte metallic silver] and one coat of opi "black shatter".

do you have any ways of bringing the halloween spirit to everyday routines?

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