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making faces :: little night out

it's understood that you always want to get yourself ready for a "big night out", the sort of night where you're invited to something swanky, or just very special- like the premiere of your own movie. but those are few and far between for most of us. in fact, it's far more common to have to get ready for a "little night out"; an evening spent with friends getting dinner or drinks where you'd still like to look nice, but you don't necessarily have to pull out all the stops.

for me, that included a recent foray out to a comedy show [battlecom, which i highly recommend not just because it's hosted by a good friend, but because it is a really energetic, different take on what a comedy show can be] and a live show at katacombes with brooklyn's black marble [nicely done retro electronica] among others.

so how does a girl get ready for something that isn't super-fancy, but where it's still nice to look like you know how a mirror works and might have glanced at one before going out?

well, in my case, i went with a few wardrobe staples and a slightly smoky eye with a sheer lip. kinda casual, but casual in that "yeah, i totally checked to make sure this worked" kind of way. i also decided to employ a rather thick hairband and a clip to disguise the worst hair day in living history. i'd decided to try growing my hair out a little, but it's currently at a stage where i can make it look decent for about ten minutes after i get it dry and then everything falls apart. if you're connected to me via facebook, you may well have seen my april fool's day profile picture of me sporting a kim jong-un haircut [which may have been mandated to men in north korea]. that was partially inspired by my ongoing frustrations with my hair and my increasing impatience at waiting for it to grow. i'm hoping i'll get it to the point where it doesn't irritate me, but i'm not sure when that's going to happen. also, the warm weather hasn't arrive yet, which means that the true irritation hasn't even begun.

i kind of went for a contrast with the outfit: that's a circle skirt from dinh ba, one of my favourite local designers, which has a gorgeous tattered overlay. to avoid seeming too dressy, i paired that with my texas chainsaw massacre shirt, but threw a blazer from annie 50 [another great local designer], so there's a nice formal- informal- formal vibe happening. you can barely make out the shoes i'm wearing, but they're fluevogs [of course], a nice sturdy brogue from the adrian family [the model i'm wearing is no longer available], a few members of whom have found shelter in my closet.

for the makeup, i made some use of my first armani eye shadow palette purchase. i've hesitated on getting one of their four-shadow palettes forever, not because i didn't want one, but because i was never quite sure where to turn first. i ultimately opted for the "medusa" palette, a fascinating combination of two greens- one leafy, the other more olive, a maroon and a matte black. the shades seem like a potentially strange combination, but they actually harmonise extremely well, with a mix of warm and cool tones between them. the only thing you might want to add is a highligher [and of course, some mascara.

in this case, i have the two shades of green on my lids, the maroon in the outer corners and crease and the black lining the eye, as well as adding a little depth to the outer corners. the mascara is also armani- eyes to kill.

on the cheeks, i'm wearing a combination of nars "seduction" and rouge bunny rouge liquid highlighter in "sea of tranquility". if you've been hesitant to try one of nars' deeper shades [like "seduction"], i hope that this convinces you that it's very possible to wear them, even when your skin is very fair.

the final touch was one of yves st. laurent's new gloss volupte shades- rose orfevre [#19]. it's a soft, light pink with gold shimmer that adds some sparkle and just a hint of colour and warmth to my lips. i was surprised at how much i liked a shade that seemed so subtle, but it balanced the more dramatic eye perfectly, without just disappearing. although it's a fairly liquid formula, it has surprising lasting power. it certainly faces, but a hint of the colour and quite a bit of the shimmer survived a drink and snacks, which is more than i would have expected for such an understated shade. it does have the fig-funk that i detest about the rouge volupte lipsticks but, fortunately, i don't seem to be allergic to the glosses. [the lipsticks make my lips crack and swell in under an hour.] based on what i've seen thus far, i might have to hold my nose and investigate these little wonders further.

so that was my evening out look and whether it was due to my judicious makeup and wardrobe choices [ok, it almost definitely wasn't], it turned out to be a very fun night indeed. any thoughts on what you like to wear when you're taking an evening out that's not exactly casual, but still far from formal? feel free to share in the comments.


I love your green and maroon combination! Since most of my friends wear little if any makeup, I tend not to doll myself up too much when going out with them. Last night I went to a nice bar for drinks with grad-school friends (getting drunk on a Tuesday night: ah, grad school), and wore a taupe eyeshadow (NARS Lhasa) and a pinky purple lipgloss (NYX Raspberry Tart). But when I go out to dinner with my boyfriend, I almost always swap the gloss for a red or fuchsia lipstick. Not that he cares, but it makes me feel a little more dressed up.
Kate MacDonald said…
Thanks! I really do recommend the Medusa palette- it's excellent in terms of quality and originality.

One of the great perks of moving to self-employment is the ability to decide that you can go for drinks basically whenever you want. Because some of us never wanted to leave grad school for the real world...

I so wish that we could get brands like NYX and Milani in pharmacies here. They seem to have a lot of nice products!
NYX is surprisingly hard to find in stores in the US; I've ordered all my NYX products online. But I love having easy access to Milani, especially since it's cruelty-free. The brand is hit-and-miss in my experience, but their good products are really good.
Kate MacDonald said…
Yes, it's the cruelty-free status of both that appealed to me... Hopefully someone picks up both brands for international distribution soon.

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


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 :: 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…

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…