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making faces :: gentleman's choice

ah yes, we are fast approaching that day when we we're supposed to feel an almost unbearable pressure to come up with the perfect couple night- a romantic pastiche of candlelight and flowers and rich chocolates fed to each other between sips of champagne through the heady steam of a hot tub, the promise of passion lingering in the air like an exotic incense.

yeah, right.

most people i know are just getting over the psychological trauma caused by having to act out the perfect family christmas. surely we deserve more than a few weeks' respite before we have another holiday that makes us feel we have something to live up to? it's not like other holidays carry these sort of expectations. we have ten whole months when the calendar isn't making us feel inadequate.

besides, most couples i know have been together long enough that they're able to enjoy a casual sense of romance together pretty much throughout the year, without feeling the need to prove it.

alternately, having all of this romantic paraphernalia around can often make people acutely aware of how monstrously imperfect their relationship is, which might actually be helpful, now that i think of it. 

MY VALENTINE'S FACE, LET ME SHOW YOU IT...



the sad thing is, having a holiday dedicated to love in all its forms is a simply awesome idea. what better rebellion is there against the great forces of the world that would keep us divided, suspicious and fearful than to revel in the knowledge that we can love each other, however much of that impulse might be biochemical and, hence, utterly unromantic?

like most couples, we like to keep things pretty low-key, but on a day dedicated to the beauty of romance, a girl doesn't want to get overwhelmed by the beauty of the flowers and candles around her, so, if there is an occasion being celebrated, many of us like to put a little extra thought into our appearance.

since dom is that rare breed of man who notices the efforts that i take in that regard and who has opinions on what colours and looks he likes, i thought that it would be a nice gesture to let him come up with the idea for a "valentine's face" for me. after all, a great part of love is wanting to make the other person happy.

i was already aware that he's a big fan of the robust red lip- both in the bold, classic movie siren variety and the alluring dark and vampish variety. so that was the starting point.

the biggest problem he ran into was that he did have a very clear idea of the sort of thing he really liked, but i'd worn it the day before while trying out the mac "call me bubbles" eye shadow quad. so instead, he picked out colours for a warm, slightly smoky eye in tones of rich brown and, yes, a little golden orange.

here's a look at the final result. [to be clear, i did the application part, once he'd picked some colours]

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

eyes ::
inglot e/s "351" [light ivory]
mac e/s "manila paper"* [parchment white]
mac e/s "creole beauty"* [warm shimmery bronze-brown]
chanel e/s "tiger lily"* [light marigold orange]
nars e/s "mekong" [dark espresso brown]
chanel inimitable intense mascara

cheeks ::
mac blush "instant chic"* [light pinky-peach]

lips ::
mac l/s "russian red" [bold primary red]

*suggested alternates :: manila paper = mac dazzlelight; creole beauty = mac antiqued; tiger lily is limited but still available [review coming soon!]; instant chic = nars sex appeal

"russian red" is mac's classic, full-on red shade, a muscular sort of red that demands attention. i probably haven't given it the love it deserves [for instance, not including it in my "little red book" last year], but i'm always a little hesitant to go for it, since it's one of those matte shades that can be drying. however, i'm glad dom picked this one, since it served as a good reminder of what a great shade it is. it's no wonder it's so popular.

i have to say, it does seem like some sort of sick joke that the annual holiday of love takes place at a time of year when the arctic winds blow strong and ice encrusts my area of the world. who doesn't feel wicked sexy in a parka, with wind-burned cheeks and a runny nose? the stuff that dreams are made of.


if you're doing something in the spirit of the holiday this year, i hope that you have a great time. personally, i'm visiting my therapist, which is the kind of hysterically appropriate coincidence that makes my life worthwhile. that said, we do have an art gallery and dinner date planned for a little later in the week.

the lovely valentine images used above are actual valentines. you can see the post i snagged them from here, with many more to delight and scar you psychologically.

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