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?

dreamspeak

ok, so i've been lax about posting here. i apologise. there are reasons. i don't know if they'ree good reasons, but they include:


i've had a lot of work to do, which is nice because i'm a freelancer and things tend to slow down in the summer, so the more work i get now, the less i have to worry about later [in theory].i started watching the handmaid's tale. i was a little hesitant because i didn't actually like the novel very much; i found it heavy-handed and predictable. the series relies on the novel for about 80% of its first season plot but i nevertheless find it spellbinding. where i felt that the novel beat readers with its politics, the series does a better job of connecting with the humanity in the midst of politics. i'm dithering on starting season two because i am a serial binger and once i know damn well that starting the second season will soon consign me to the horrors of having to wait a week between episodes. i don't know if i can han…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…

mental health mondays :: separate and not equal

given the ubiquitousness of racial disparities in the united states, there's no reason why we should be surprised that they exist in mental health care. unlike a lot of other areas, the people in power have acknowledged the problem for decades. but the situation isn't getting any better. 
the united states surgeon general documented the differences between white and non-white mental health care back in 2001 so we can assume that it was already a known problem at that point. two years later, a presidential commission said the same damn thing and groups like the national association for mental health seized on this to develop guidelines on how to bridge the ethnic gap. from the turn of the century through 2007, the number of papers and publications talking about the mental health care gap spiked. the issue was viewed as being on par with obesity when it came to urgent problems.

starting in 2004, researchers undertook a massive project that involved the records of nearly a quart…