Skip to main content

making faces :: inspired by april showers

of course, today, i woke up to april snow, which is pretty depressing although totally unheard of in montreal at this time of year. but now the sun is out and i'm imagining the wonderful feeling of that first gust of warm spring air on my cheeks. [literally imagining it- it's pretty chilly out today.]

one of the things that you learn to brace yourself for in canada when spring hits are the giant puddles of "what the hell makes it that colour" that start appearing as melting snow combines with frequent rain. the general dampness of just about everything really constitutes what passes for spring in montreal, but we shake it off like a cheery, if slightly messy, dog, because we know that water is good. it's good for us, it's good for the planet and it's ultimately good for washing away the urban puddles of fear and irresponsibility. in fact, misty, foggy days in april can be quite lovely in their own quiet way. although, with the arrival of easter, there's a preference in the cosmetic and fashion world for white-based pastels, i'm partial to the soft, grey-tinted tones of the rain-showered landscape, the first shoots of grass and early flowers, especially lilacs. [when the lilacs arrive, then you can say it's spring. until then it's sprinter.]

so in honour of that hazy time of year, which i'm sure will be upon us at any moment [we got teased with a double digit day yesterday, before we slumped back into cold habits], i thought i would share some looks i've done recently in the hopes of psychologically coaxing spring weather from the jaws of late winter. they're all low-contrast looks, a mix of cool greyed tones and soft, earthy colours. that makes them appropriate to pretty much anything, because they're not going to stand out in even the most conservative environments [well, maybe if you're a nun], but they're all things that can be built up to a delicate take on a smoky-eyed look for evenings. but saturated colours and pastels tend to be more noticeable, so this is a nice concept for the makeup-shy. on the other hand, people like myself who tend to wear sharper, higher-contrast looks better can struggle to adapt to this sort of thing. that's why you'll notice in every case that i've made certain to line my eyes. it provides just that little bit of contrast to make things work for me. [you could easily eschew this if your complexion favours softer looks.]

these looks were also inspired by the fact that laura mercier's spring collection is exactly on this theme. although it's received mixed reviews, her spring palette is a collection of rainy toned eye shadows and two soft blushes. [it even has raindrops on its packaging, which would look fresh and original if mac hadn't done the exact same thing for their summer collection last year...] after thinking about it for a while, i've opted not to purchase it, because i felt that i could duplicate the colours from what i already have. but if you want a shortcut to doing these sorts of looks, it's a much cheaper option than trying to track down everything i've used here.

[as a confusing side note, if you're approaching these looks in colour analysis terms, then not one of them would fit into any of the three spring seasons, all of which have a higher degree of saturation in their palettes. i'd qualify all of these as soft summer looks, although the last one could probably work on some soft autumn complexions as well. even what i'm wearing is soft summer-y.]

look #1 :: rain cloud greys and river greens




of course, streaming rivers are a fundamental part of spring; in some areas they're a regular danger. foggy skies and rushing water are a sure sign that the seasons are turning, as is looking out your window and seeing the world's muted palette distorted through droplets of water.

the base ::
nars luminous weightless foundation "mont blanc"
nars radiant creamy concealer "vanilla"
mac paint pot "painterly"

the eyes ::
mac e/s "all races" [greyed lavender]*
mac e/s "lady grey" [soft grey-green]*
mac e/s "hazy day" [soft pewter]*
mac e/s "tendersmoke" [shimmery grey purple]*
urban decay 24/7 e/l "smoke" [charcoal grey]
dior new look mascara

the cheeks ::
nars blush "amour" [warm rose pink]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "incandescent light" [shimmery white-pink]

the lips ::
mac lustre l/s "lightly ripe" [shimmery light pink]*

*suggested alternates :: all races = rouge bunny rouge sweet dust seriema [browner]; lady grey = ellis faas e117 [cream product, lighter]; hazy day = nars vent glacé #2 [deeper, more gold]; tendersmoke = nars lhasa [cooler, less shimmery]; lightly ripe = guerlain rouge automatique cherry blossom [lighter]

look #2 :: lilacs




although crocuses often get the credit as the first spring flowers, i always think of lilacs as being the real heralds, just because they arrive with such a blast. there's nothing and then boom, entire trees covering entire blocks all overrun with lilacs. although they come in a variety of colours, they're most associated with the delicate, ladylike purple that bears their name, a light colour tinged with blue and just a little grey, a cool harbinger of warm weather.

the base ::
nars luminous weightless foundation "gobi"
nars radiant creamy concealer "vanilla"
mac paint pot "painterly"

the eyes ::
rouge bunny rouge e/s "lilac reef currasow" [cool greyed lilac]
rouge bunny rouge e/s "trumpeter koel" [storm cloud blue-grey]
rouge bunny rouge e/s "alabaster starling" [sparkling soft white]
urban decay 24/7 e/l "smoke" [charcoal grey]
dior new look mascara

the cheeks ::
guerlain terra inca radiant powder [light rosy bronze]*

the lips ::
mac lustre l/s "laugh a lot" [soft pink-plum]*

*suggested alternates :: terra inca = hourglass radiant light; laugh a lot = mac plumful


look #3 :: mud puddles




love it or hate it, big patches of mud just scream spring. the earth is slick as rain combines with thawing ice and makes everything brown and squishy. it sticks to your footwear and gets splashed over you. it can be supremely messy and annoying, but i'll bet that i'm not the only one who, when no one else is looking, still gets a childish joy from leaping in to a mud puddle. don't worry, it'll be our secret.

the base ::
nars luminous weightless foundation "mont blanc"
nars radiant creamy concealer "vanilla"
mac paint pot "painterly"
the eyes ::
mac e/s "swell baby" [soft warm grey]*
mac mineralize e/s "cloudy afternoon" [warm beige-grey]*
mac mineralize e/s "silver birch" [greyed brown]*
mac e/s "dazzlelight" [shimmery neutral highlight]
urban decay 24/7 e/l "demolition" [deep cool brown]
dior new look mascara

the cheeks ::
hourglass ambient lighting blush "luminous flush" [rose pink with champagne sheen]

the lips ::
mac lustre l/s "naked paris" [rosy brown with silver/ white shimmer]

*suggested alternates :: swell baby = nars namibia [softer, more matte]; cloudy afternoon = mac french clay; silver birch = sisley stardust [lighter, warmer] or armani eyes to kill pulp fiction [cooler]

so if, like me, you're getting a little fed up with waiting for spring to arrive, take heart. it pretty much has to come sometime soon and until then, and maybe if we all focus on waking it by showing how much we love its tender palette, it'll be that much more motivated to get started.

Comments

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

presidenting is hard :: these people are not your friends

hello mr. president! a while back, i promised that i would periodically be giving you some advice on how to do your job, since you seem a little unclear on how everything works. i didn't mean to go so long between missives, but the fact is that i've been busy and you're administration has been in overdrive giving me things to write about. what i've realised is that many of those things are ones i can't help you with: if you or anyone in your immediate circle worked with russians to compromise the 2016 election, that shit is done. robert mueller is going to find that out, because he's the kind of person who looks like the theme from dragnet just automatically starts playing every time he enters a room. so that's your problem. i'm just here to talk to you about what you can do now that you are, by law, the president. because, while chief detective mueller is doing his thing, we all need to live with your decisions. i'm even less happy about that than…

write brain

i was talking to a friend of mine about coffee, specifically about our mutual need for coffee, yesterday and, literally as i was in the middle of a thought, an idea occurred to me that i felt like i had to note. so there i am, scribbling a note to myself that was really just a word salad of related terms, which i later transformed into a weird but more comprehensible note that i could refer to later. [i don't want another beatriz coca situation on my hands.] i feel like this idea isn't a story on its own, but something that i could incorporate into a larger project, which is good, because i have a few of those.

now, of course, i need to sit down and do research on this, because it's become terribly important to me that the details of this weird little idea that i'm planning on incorporating into a larger thing be totally plausible, even though no one but me is ever going to care. i'm increasingly convinced that the goal of every writer is to find someone who will t…

luck of the irish?

i like st. patrick's day. i like the fact that there is a holiday that celebrates celtic-ness and drunkeness at once (you could argue they were pretty close to begin with). in fact, it's probably second only to halloween as my favourite publicly recognised holiday.

so every year, i have to have my little ritual and that ritual involves visiting a pub and partaking of the cheer. i've made attempts at watching parades in various cities, but i've more recently given up that practice because a) eight out of ten times, it's freezing cold and/ or snowing in canada on march 17th and b) the parades seem to consist entirely of trucks carrying people who are as drunk as i would be, if i weren't freezing my tush off watching them. so i've backed off the parade in recent years.

however, a visit to the pub, the longer the better, is still an important thing for me.

next year, however, i'm going to have to plan things a little better.

first of all, i didn't …