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making faces :: january's pretty things

'tis the post-holiday season of cold and wind and arctic air and snow and, to be honest, whatever excuse i can find to stay inside covered in a comforter and cats all day is generally a good thing. however, i have ventured out from time to time and even endeavoured to make myself presentable around the house so that dom doesn't have to come home to this:

how about a kiss honey?

i sort of wish that the weather wasn't so disagreeable, because low light and long nights are great conditions in which to show off pearly skin and deep lips, a look i prefer as a matter of course. but i suppose there's still lots of that left given that daylight savings doesn't kick in for a month and the sun stays mostly hidden until about the middle of march. and sometimes we get a bit of a thaw in february, which can be nice but also kind of a tease.

what i've been reaching for in my cabinet of pretties [actually dresser drawers] this month basically fits with what i mentioned above- highlighters to diffuse that wintry dullness, lips in shades of berry, plum and dark purple and, so as not to overbalance, a lot of neutrals and greys on the lids.

SEE SOME FAVOURITES & PHOTOS AFTER THE BREAK



TAA-DAA

one thing i've gone back to repeatedly this month is my vintage grape blush ombre. it adds some colour [a little or a lot, depending on how you build it up] and gives a nice, plummy contour that helps give my rather pallid face some dimension ["hey! i have cheekbones!"] and a little colour [that plays nicely with my preferred lip shades].

i've also been pulling out mac's lightscapade, the cult-y highlighter that gives me that radiant, silent film star glow and play it proper, another winning highlighter from mac that ads an icy pink sheen just perfect for us ice queens. play it proper was a limited edition release early last year, but believe it or not, it's still available on the canadian mac web site. or, if you can't access it there, you can hold tight for a little while, because it's due to be re-released in march, well before tanning sets in.

and, of course, there's my new love edward bess, who brought me to the south of france

january kate #1: excited about the weather!
eye-wise, i've been keeping things fairly quiet, which is not quite the same as being dull. neutrals and greys, particularly ones with a lot of dimension, that shift in the light or surprising reflections, have always been favourites of mine. keeping things on neutral ground has given me a lot of excuses to wear angelic cockatiels [and has made me excited to be able to order more from rouge bunny rouge], for instance. i've also been getting a lot of use out of shades i picked up from mac's "prolongwear" eye shadows, a new permanent collection that was released last year. i'll admit that i don't really pay attention to a brand's claims about longevity, particularly with shadows, because they tend to last pretty well on me anyway. these do perform well [rbr performs better, in my experience, but those last a freakishly long time] and mac did a great, classy job on coming up with colours that were a mix of brights and neutrals, wearable but still original. i've been especially partial to peachy brown one to watch and shimmery grey-taupe keep your cool in the last month and have turned to them repeatedly. and, although i hardly need an excuse, in the name of looking for an exciting neutral, i've gone back to my old friend, mac's "vex", a light greenish grey [or is it greyish green?] that has a noticeable pink sheen. this is one of my all-time favourites and i think it always will be. i have never seen anything like it and, as you can see from the pan peeking through the powder, it gets a lot of love, despite the ever-growing size of my stash. i love you vex. you've been my bestest makeup friend for a long time.

in fact, about the only colours i've reached for with any regularity when it comes to decorating my lids have been more muted purples and plum shades like circa plum and a new friend i've made. i'll make a more formal introduction to her in a later post. 

i can't hide how much i've been relishing dark plums, purples and cool reds. as much as some find the look too stark or too goth for their tastes, i have always loved the contrast of dark lips and light skin. i suppose you could say that it balances the hair, but the truth is, i wore that same look when i was super-blonde as well.

i have a lot of favourites in this range, but a couple i've been turning to lately have been armani's sexily named "604" and "609". the former is a rich purple that is part of their permanent collection. the second is a vampy plum that was released late last year in a limited edition. i'll have more to say on that particular shade, and on armani, in a forthcoming post, but in case i've been too subtle, i adore basically everything i've seen from this brand in the last year or so.

january kate #2- eager to go outside!
of course, since it's also the season of dry weather and cracked lips, i've been turning to glosses quite a lot as well. laura mercier's "stick gloss" in black orchid has become a perennial favourite for when i'm still in the mood for a berry-type shade, but want something a little less dramatic. it looks intense in the tube, but it's quite a sheer wash of colour and it's very moisturising. [hm, occurs to me that despite the fact that i turn to it very often, i haven't done a look with it here. i'll have to change that.]

other glosses i've found that suit my mood and the needs of my aching lips are armani's "603" gloss [again, more on that coming soon] and another mac favourite "cult of cherry" [which is actually quite an intense pop of red for a gloss.

fyi- the image of the "old lady" above is not actually me without makeup, but a photograph taken by lloyd n. phillips as part of a series inspired by mussorgsky's "pictures at an exhibition". you can see more of his work here.

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