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making faces :: one

this week at the caustic lounge, i was observing my friend zoe, who is always ravishingly stylish and noticed that she was wearing a pastel turquoise eye shadow that made a bold, summery statement. her face didn't need anything more, just this beautiful matte pastel shade that went from bright on the lids to a soft, diffused wash of colour closer to the brow bone. and indeed, it was a perfect summer look and it led me to think that one of the best things you can do to your face when the heat gets really cranked is just to use one pop of colour and keep the rest pretty simple.

i couldn't wait to try to try this new found asceticism, particularly because i recently purchased one of estee lauder's new pure colour gelée shadows, the new launch of their innovative powder-to-gel formula. i hadn't tried these out before, although they made a splash when they were initially launched last year. i can see why. although they seem oddly positioned between summer and fall, the shades are the absolute perfect weapon for the sort of simply look i had in mind. why? because they can be applied damp for maximum colour, but easily sheer out with a fluffy brush to a lovely, whisper-soft pastel with a bit of shimmer. and pretty much every one of them, especially some of the stunning jewel tones, can stand alone against the summer heat.

the colour i picked to start with, "arctic sky", is a particularly complex cornflower blue with a tinge of lavender base, with a pink and champagne metallic sheen to it. and yes, you can see all that on the lid, which is why, while it blends very easily, there's no reason to bother. despite the fact that i'm generally a little shy of blue shadows [and, yes, this shade does make my eyes look more grey], this one really seduced me. i'm a sucker for that kind of multi-tonal complexity and the fact that the formula is so soft against the skin and blends so perfectly made it an easy sell.

after trying it out a full day in the office, i do have to say that the formula does fade- more than regular powder shadows. beyond a certain point, it'll stand its ground and the part that i applied more sheerly didn't really fade at all, but the intensity of the damp application had softened within a few hours. i did also notice a little bit of creasing, even over a primer [benefit's "stay, don't stray"], but my lids have been especially oily lately and i have a suspicion that nothing is safe under those conditions. i did not find the shadow creased any more or faster than any other kind of shadow i've worn recently.



i combined it with korres cherry full-colour gloss, a formula i've really grown to love in the couple of months i've been trying it. i have a couple of shades, both of which are great for a natural lip, since the "full colour" they impart is still ultra-natural on. strangely, i find that while these glosses last a little longer than average on me, the colour tends to fade while the shimmer and shine hang tight. most glosses work the other way. nonetheless, it's a wonderful, soft treat for lips that are perhaps feeling the effects of dry heat and air conditioning.

of course, it occurred to me that a much more "me" kind of take on this sort of theme was to go with a bold lip, rather than a bold eye, so today i tried that one out. i feel a bit guilty, because i'm falling back again on hourglass "raven", which i've already featured, but it is just such a perfect shade for a statement lip. honestly, my normal preference for summer shades is  more in the hot pink/ fuchsia/ orange range rather than red, but there is something just perfect for the heat about this vibrant orange-red.

i opted for something i rarely do- an almost completely nude eye, using an old mostly-matte standby [mac's vanilla] and a shimmery wash of colour [a mac paint pot called "vintage selection"]. part of the reason for doing that was because i was testing out a new mascara- givenchy noir couture- and i always like to see how that looks against a plain canvas.

the result? highly impressive. i don't know if i understand the knobby brush, but it's a bloody dream to work with, one of the few that gives me fantastic coverage in a single pass and does an excellent job on the wimpy fringe known as my lower lashes. i got a mini size as a 100 point reward from sephora, but i rather think that i'll be going back for the full enchilada in the near future.

in both of these cases, i like the fact that my routine was less complicated because everything was focused on just one product not just because that made things faster, although that was a factor, but because it meant not having to worry about getting things blended just right and truly feeling like i wasn't wearing anything much, even though the shades clearly have an impact.

here's the breakdown of what i used for both looks.

#1
before we get started here, i want to explain that i snapped these pictures after a quick makeup refresh in the evening. i misted my hair with water, because the heat was crazy and i have pretty thick hair even though it's mercifully shorter at the moment. i did not think to look in a mirror post-mist, which is why you have that fascinating, slightly "drowned" look going on in these photos. i love you people enough to share some truly unwise images with you.

the base
marcelle beauty balm "light/ medium"
gosh liquid concealer "light"
marcelle pressed powder "translucent"

eyes
estee lauder e/s "arctic sky" [lavender-blue with pink sheen]
tarina tarantino dream hyperliner "cute robot" [violet-blue]
givenchy noir couture mascara "black satin" [black]

cheeks
nars blush "outlaw" [pink-red with gold sheen]

lips
korres l/g "22-golden pink" [natural pink with gold shimmer]


#2
the one thing i will say as a word of warning on this look: hourglass does have one of the richer, heavier lipstick formulas on the market, so consider that before you decide to try this out on a hot summer day. personally, it doesn't bother me, but if you really want your lips to feel like you're wearing nothing at all [but still want them to stand out from a mile away], you might want to try something a little more lightweight. hourglass lipsticks do give a luscious, dewy feeling to the lips, though, which is perfect for summer heat in my books.

the base
marcelle beauty balm "light/ medium"
lush colour supplement "jackie oates" [used to add a bit of a highlight to my cheekbones and brow]
gosh liquid concealer "light"

eyes
mac e/s "vanilla" [light peachy nude]
mac paint pot "vintage selection" [shimmery peach]*
makeup forever concealer pencil "ivory/ beige"
givenchy noir couture mascara "black satin" [black]

cheeks
nars blush "outlaw" [pink-red with gold sheen]

lips
mac lip pencil "redd" [warm red]
hourglass l/s "raven" [intense orange-red]

*suggested alternate vintage selection = urban decay "sin"

clearly, i need to pay attention to my other blushes, from looking at the last couple of days worth of looks, but "outlaw" is a great colour if you want a flush that works even over tanned skin. and yes, that is what i look like with a tan.

so now i know i'm going to have to go through my stash to weed out all those shades that can truly stand alone, without support from their comrades. if you've any ideas based on what colours have worked for you, i'm all ears.

i will post some swatches and comparisons for arctic sky, never fear. just felt the urge to share this first.

Comments

lola seicento said…
All of these looks are stunning, Kate!! I guess that it is time for me to recognize that EL is no longer simply a line meant to cater to our grandmothers. I got the memo, but just didn't really believe it until now! :-)
Kate MacDonald said…
Thanks Lola! I feel badly that I keep ignoring EL, because the few things I have picked up in the last couple of years have been truly impressive and not at all "grandma". I think the combination of these shadows, plus their new lipsticks and polishes AND their edgy Fall collection will finally serve to remind me that they deserve my attention.
lola seicento said…
I have always ignored EL, but now it would seem that I have been currently doing so based upon a misguided belief that the line hasn't kept up with the times. I will actually have to go take a look next time I am near a counter!

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