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making faces :: new year's yves

i'm sorry, please don't look at me that way
with all of the conspicuous consumption in which i've indulged this year, i have to say that i feel sort of guilty for leaving out my old friend yves st. laurent. it's not that he had a bad year. in fact, he seemed to have a very good year and his fascinating "glossy stains" which i've yet to get around to purchasing, despite having swatched them at every available opportunity since they launched in the spring, have to go down as one of the most fascinating product advances of the year. in fact, my inability to commit to a purchase has nothing to do with skepticism about the product and everything to do with my inability to decide what shade i want to get first. so, i'm sorry, yves, you've been unjustly ignored because you've been too appealing.

that's not to say, though, that yves has been absent from my cosmetic wardrobe this year. ysl faux cils mascara reigns supreme as the king of dramatic lash-dom as far as i'm concerned. and i've been quietly pigging out on purples, which yves suddenly has in every lip formula you could imagine.

this get-up below is actually something that i wore earlier this week, but i thought it was a really nice, slightly understated-but-effective look for an evening out. if you're planning for that sort of thing.

here's a description of what i did...

the base ::
benefit the porefessional primer
clarins everlasting foundation "103"
diorskin nude hydrating concealer "01"
mac paint pot "painterly"
benefit liquid highlighter "high beam"
diorskin nude flawless perfection powder "010"

although that looks like a lot of products, i actually kept the foundation fairly light. since the clarins formula is fairly thick, i applied everything and then buffed it quite a bit with the urban decay optical blending brush. i received "high beam" as part of a set from sephora, so i've been endeavouring to try it again, despite the fact that it seemed to break me out when i first had it. it's such a perfect shade for my skin, a very light pearl with a slight pink cast, i can't bring myself to turn my back on it entirely. sadly, the results are not promising, as i do have a few little bumps where i'd applied it [sparingly!] along my cheekbones.

"painterly" continues to be my fail-safe for neutralising my eye lid colour and getting shadows to look their best. no more creasy-beasties for me!

the eyes ::
urban decay e/s "virgin" [shimmery light ivory]
urban decay e/s "buck" [warm medium brown]
tarina tarantino e/s "sawdust heart" [matte dark brown]*
tarina tarantino e/s "glinda's kiss" [white with gold frost]*
mac superslick liquid liner "on the hunt" [patent leather black]
mac e/l "i get no kick" [shimmery nude]*
ysl effet faux cils creme e/l "gold star" [antique gold]*
ysl faux cils mascara

looky looky! new camera makes it easier to do macro shots!

the point of this look was to do something that would complement and not distract from the tiered liner effect and so i went with a solid selection warm-ish neutrals from two of my workhorse palettes: urban decay's original naked palette and tarina tarantino's "emerald pretty". this is stone-cold basic for me, the kind of thing i could probably do in my sleep [which would probably be less disturbing than what i already do in my sleep]. the magic is all in the liner application. and the magic of that is really no magic at all. the ysl liner is incredibly smooth to apply and using an angled brush [i used the mac 266, but there are many], the flared point makes itself. for the black, i love how "on the hunt" stays glossy even when it dries. once again, the applicator does all the work with this one.

the cheeks ::
nars blush "outlaw" [bright rose with gold shimmer]

if i don't stop using this, all my other blushes are going to beat it up and dump it behind the dresser out of jealousy. it's just that it makes for such a nice pop of colour plus that beautiful glow that the shimmer imparts.

i wanted a nice pop of colour for a "doll cheeks" effect, one of my favourite things to do with blush. this involved lightly smoothing a little over my cheekbones for overall colour, then picking up a fair amount of powder with my new favourite toy, the nars yachiyo brush, and tapping it right on the apples of my cheeks. pow!

the lips ::
ysl golden gloss "white gold topaz" [opalescent purple with gold shimmer]

ok, yves, two things: 1. why "white gold topaz"? "purple gold opal" would really be a much better descriptor, but for some reason you went with "white" and "topaz", neither of which make any sense in the context of a beautiful sheer-but-dazzling fuchsia-purple gloss. 2. please stop with the fig scent. you aren't the only ones who use it, but you're the worst offenders [estee lauder, you're right behind him in line]. it's sickening. it smells like what happens when someone accidentally makes the cobbler out of the plastic fruit and tries to hide their mistake by dumping perfume and jam over top of it. your beautiful products deserve better.

moving on, i love this shade enough that i'll put up with the scent [which is cloying enough that it refuses to dissipate]. dom, who is normally a lover of opaque lip colour [on ladies] chose this above a couple of opaque options when i bought it, because it really has that magical multi-coloured shifting in the light quality of the inside of a seashell or a mother-of-pearl pendant. or an opal, like i said earlier. [note: he didn't use those words, but i know that's what he was thinking. because i always know what you're thinking dom.] there's definitely some glitter- all the golden glosses apparently have ittybitty flakes of gold inside them- but you won't come off looking like a candy-goth raver, even if that's what you're going for.

the formula is lovely- very smooth and slick, but surprisingly long-lasting for a gloss. there are heavier, tackier glosses that disappear faster.

i love the colour-wheel counterpoint of the purple gloss with the gold eyeliner. opposites will always make each other appear a bit brighter, because they "compete", but what i like about these two products together is that neither of them is terribly bold to begin with, so the dynamic "colour tension" isn't in your face. [although i suppose it is "on your face", which sounds like it would be worse, but apparently isn't.]

so there you go, yves. i have not forgotten you and, in fact, i continue to turn to you when my face is in need of some lively intervention. and i will eventually get around to purchasing one of your magical gloss stains. you can consider that my first beauty-related new year's resolution.

*suggested alternates :: saw dust heart = mac brun; glinda's kiss = mac white gold pigment; i get no kick = makeup forever 23l; gold star is still available from ysl and at their retail counters and there is absolutely no reason to skip it, because it's perfect

have fun celebrating in however you choose to adorn yourself, even if it's just your skin!


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making faces :: soft touch

ah winter, how my lips hate you. it's too bad, really, because the rest of me likes winter, down to about -12 or so. but there's no arguing that i get dried out. nuxe rĂªve de miel is my super best friend at this time of year, even more so than otherwise. [i gave bite's agave lip mask a try only to find out i'm allergic to something in it.] but our [still] new apartment is somewhat drier than the old one [electric vs hot water heating], which meant that, for a long stretch, virtually every kind of lipstick was uncomfortable. the horror. [i wrote a post a while back about the formulas that are friendliest to chapped lips.]

faced with this dilemma, i decided to try something not exactly new, but [for me], out of the ordinary: being a gloss girl. now, i don't mind glosses. i buy them from time to time, and i used to buy more until i discovered that i just wasn't using them near enough to justify the continued purchases. my issues with glosses are that they feather…


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…