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making faces :: little red book, part 9

i've pretty much decided to run this series until i'm at a nice even ten, although, and i say this as much as a warning as a boast, i could go on for a while. yes, i love red lips that much. in fact, i still have to stop myself from buying about a dozen more a week. i'm trying to work out if i'd be better off with a meth habit.

those lips are red and you know it
of course, part of my inspiration for loving reds comes from my lifelong love of glamour-era actresses, those heroines from films of the twenties, thirties and forties- ironically, most of them before colour became commonplace in the movies- whose sensuously parted lips hinted at all the secrets of femininity that we all [male and female] longed to posses. we knew, instinctively, that those lips were a satiny red of unfathomable depth. and that, boys and girls, is what a woman is looking for when she searches for a red lipstick.

the problem with most really retro-looking reds is that they're often matte- meaning they have little to no shine and, more importantly, little to no moisture. when i was nineteen or twenty, i found the sensation of a really matte lipstick a little uncomfortable, but a number [i'm not saying what number] of years later, i find it nearly unbearable. but i still long for that look, which is why i'm so willing to try different matte formulations, despite the fact that so many of them have been problematic.



fortunately, things change and evolve and the obsession with glamour-era lips is a powerful lure and so companies continue to find better and better ways of giving women what they want, without demanding they endure discomfort. companies like nars. their semi-matte finish lipsticks are easy to wear, last for hours, go on smoothly and evenly, but don't leave lips parched. what a wonderful idea.

it's a particularly wonderful idea when it's combined with a darkened ruby shade like transeurope express. i reviewed this originally here, but just to reiterate, any lipstick that's named for a kraftwerk song will always have a place in my collection.

but to make things even better, this shade is just a perfect early garbo or dietrich blue-toned red, deep enough to be a stark contrast on black and white film, even though you will always know that it's red. when i want to emulate that look, this is the colour that i turn to. i'm likewise prone to wearing it with shades of cool neutrals and greys, since those seem most appropriate [and since you really don't want to compete with the lips].

and so that's exactly what i did.


but just before i get to a list of what i used, can we all just take a moment to appreciate how nice and even and straight my eye liner is?

THIS NEVER HAPPENS


ahem. thank you. now we can proceed...

products used

face ::
mac prolongwear foundation "nc15"
lush colour supplement "jackie oates"

eyes ::
mac prolongwear e/s "sweet satisfaction" [shimmery beige-taupe]
sisley e/s "stardust" [pewter]
mac e/s "stovepipe black"* [charcoal grey]
inglot e/s "352" [peachy ivory]
mac superslick liquid eye liner [black patent]
guerlain eye kohl "black"
benefit they're real mascara

cheeks ::
mac magically cool liquid powder "truth & light" [peachy highlighter]
mac blush ombre "ripe peach"* [peach with light gold shimmer]

lips ::
nars semi-matte l/s "transeurope express" [deep cool ruby]

*suggested alternates :: stovepipe black = mac knight divine [a bit darker and has more of a shimmer]; ripe peach = estee lauder peach nuance [warmer and a bit darker... since i know i'm going to get skewered if people think i'm suggesting an actual dupe for this cult-favourite item, i want to make it clear that these are different, just that they're pretty close, especially since the lauder blush has the same degradé colouring as the mac one.]

don't forget, for the most effect, you really want to pair this sort of look with an intense, exotic perfume, full of torrid flowers and mysterious oriental woods, like guerlain's samsara. the kind of thing that hangs out in a room and continues your conversations for half an hour after you've run off for a snog with the butler.

so... does anyone have any ideas what i'm going to choose for my very last chapter of the "little red [lipstick] book"? something warm or something cool? something lighter or darker? whatever could it be... stay tuned...

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