Skip to main content

making faces :: the fallback face

one of the things i like about doing posts on what makeup i wear is that it sometimes forces me to think outside the cosmetic box [who are we kidding- boxes]. it keeps me experimenting with techniques and colours that i might not otherwise use.

but the fact is that there are still a lot of days when i go into default mode and start pulling out the same group of products, or at least grabbing from the same shade ranges and for all the experimentation i might enjoy, those colours have been very similar for the last ten or fifteen years. the individual shades in the palette have varied- they still do- but we're talking about the same basics. and since i hadn't shared what those are before, i thought i might as well do so now.

everybody, this is the kate that most people see on a daily basis at work, out shopping, even lounging around the house writing blog posts and playing with cats.

SHE'S HIDING JUST AFTER THE BREAK...



step one :: slightly smoky eyes that are noticeably darker on the outer corners. like most women, i reach for neutral eye shades because once you've committed to turquoise, you've basically determined that everything on you is going to have to connect to that somehow. you can do that, of course, but when you're talking about days where you're stuck for time, or maybe limited by laundry options, adding a bold makeup touch is going to make all your subsequent decisions more complicated. and so most women will reach for their trusty, dusty taupes and greys.

in this particular case, i went more towards the rosy edge of neutrals. over most of the lid, i'm wearing nars "cairo", a pink-leaning deep champagne shade with a soft golden shimmer. having something that catches the light is important for me when it comes to my lids, because it tends to make my eyes look wider awake and a bit brighter. matte colours, unless they're quite light, tend to make me look tired.

in the crease, i have burberry "antique rose". i love colours like this, faded roses and purples like the spines of old hardcover books and i have a lot of them. "antique rose" is on the pink end. chanel "hasard" and le metier de beaute "icon" are more purple. mac "copperplate", one of their classic shades, is a gorgeous warm grey brown in the same family. all of them mimic literal shadows, in varying degrees of softness and sharpness depending on the colour and the intensity of the application. i love them because they make the eyes look sculpted, but not overdone. and when i'm in a hurry, i don't have the energy for overdone.

in the outer corners and blended into the outer part of the crease, i added a black shadow. just a simple, matte black, let's say it's the black from armani's neo-black palette. the point here is to define the shape of the outside of my eyes because, and i realise how weird this sounds, i find they look unfinished without it. although this should be something that closes my eyes in, i find that the effect is the opposite. without that little bit of shading, my eyes look smaller and less distinct. this is one of the reasons why you'll rarely see me in a combination of pastel shades, unless some serious eye liner is involved.

speaking of eyeliner... let's not bother, shall we? i have the black shadow smudged along my lash lines and honestly, that's all i really felt capable of doing. i am never too busy for mascara, though. in this case, it's hourglass "film noir".

i was actually in my thirties before i ever started wearing blush on a regular basis, so originally, i'd just skip that step altogether. however, i have realised that despite wishing to maintain my porcelain pallor, it is a good idea to add some colour to the face, if only to help offer some relief. i don't mean relief as in assistance, either, i mean it as in topography. blush doesn't just make you look healthy, it helps direct the eye to things like your cheekbones, or the hollows of your cheeks, or your jawline. it draws attention to the shape of your face which, on most people in most lights, can seem kind of flat.

when i started wearing blush, i went for very soft neutrals, because i just wanted to help out the architecture a little. that's pretty much what i've done here. the particular shade i'm wearing is yves st. laurent "pepper rose" with hourglass "dim light" dusted over it for an extra bit of glow that i don't actually possess. the point isn't to add a lot of colour. the point is to remind you that my cheekbones exist.

finally, there is lipstick. i have always been an avid collector of lipsticks, but the difference now is that you can tell most of them apart easily. at an earlier point in my life, my lipstick collection occupied a very narrow slot of the colour wheel, the muted plums. some were a little more red. some were a little more purple. some were a little lighter. some were darker. but they didn't stray very far from the central description: muted plums. the one you see me in here is hourglass "nocturnal", which is a recent acquisition, because for the longest time i just stopped buying such shades until i'd gotten all the way through a few tubes or until they'd gone off.

some people think of a soft or nude lip for an effortless look, but this has always been my go-to. it's a little less casual and it holds its own weight against the medium-deep eyes.

and that's it, in a nutshell. that's what i look like when i need to make enough of an effort to look presentable, but don't feel inclined or allowed to let my imagination run wild.

anyone else have a "fallback" look they want to share? a palette of colours in which you're most comfortable?

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

long suffering

i've been meaning to write this post for a while, but, every time i get started, something happens that makes me rethink portions of it, to add or subtract or consider a different way of looking at things. the post was originally going to be my take on a #metoo statement, but i ended up making that post on my personal facebook page. [it's not that i don't love you all, but there are a few things i'm not comfortable putting in the entirely public sphere.] but beyond joining the #metoo juggernaut, i wanted to write something about the wave of sexual assault revelations that continues to swell over the north american media landscape that wasn't about me. then i realised that that was a little more complicated than just writing "so, lotta sex rapes happenin' these days, ain't there?" or whatever it was that i was going to say.

so i tried writing something about just a part of it: the media coverage or the entertainment industry or the politicians or …

jihadvertising?

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…