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making faces :: get some colour up in here

this week montreal went from buds to leaves in rapid succession as warm weather descended on us with the force of a thousand suns. [ok, not literally, but it has gone from about 12 celsius to 24 celsius in short order. also, i've suddenly been beset with every sort of allergy, which just blows.]

as much as i might embrace my fallback "kate face" [neutral eye, flushed cheek, berry lip] on a regular basis, having more sunlight does tempt me to incorporate a larger palette, something that reflects the burst of colour that accompanies spring. there are blossoms everywhere, great swathes of that golden spring green, clear azure skies... why am i telling you this? you've seen spring before.

although there are still some gloomy, rainy days [actually, most of this week], the presence of more light in general means that it's easier to get away with bigger and brighter statements on your face. unless you're a very skilled makeup artist [i'm not], bold colours in winter tend to look heavy and aging. with more light around, though, they morph into playful and engaging.

some will tell you that, over a certain age [usually around thirty], you should just cede the use of bold colour and let yourself fade into neutral wonderland. i will tell you that those people deserve to be drop-kicked off a wharf over freezing cold waters. yes, i adore subtle neutrals and they'll always make up the bulk of my eye shadow collection at least. but no woman should ever feel like she can't go out in turquoise eye shadow just because someone decided a hundred years ago that it wasn't appropriate. [they didn't have turquoise eye shadow a hundred years ago -ed.] [shut up, editor -kate]

so here are some colourful looks i've worn lately to give you some inspiration, to give you an idea of what they might look like on you [if we have similar colouring], or to serve as a warning if colours are not your thing.

look #1 :: easter colours

this might not be as varied as my "easter egg" look from a few years back, but it does incorporate yellow and purple, which are definitely associated with spring and easter [in the same way that red and green are associated with christmas/ yule and orange and blue are associated with nothing].

looking at these photos, it's really bothering me that i can see unevenness in the gloss application. this is why i don't wear glosses very often. i do, however, really like this mix of colours, even though a number of them are discontinued, which is probably annoying if you're reading this post...

products used

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

the eyes ::
mac e/s "laundry daze" [lemon chiffon]*
mac e's "colour added" [bright lemon yellow]*
mac e/s "going bananas" [shimmery sunshine yellow]*
mac e/s "dame's desire" [red purple]*
mac e/s "stars and rockets" [orchid purple with blue sheen]
mac e/s "very violet" [deep royal purple]*
urban decay 24/7 e/l "rockstar" [blackened purple with shimmer]
illamasqua precision gel e/l [black]
dior new look mascara

cheeks ::
mac blush ombre "azalea blossom" [cool lavender-pink]*
hourglass ambient lighting powder "diffused light" [yellowed white]

lips ::
mac l/g "jampacked" [purple berry]*

* suggested alternates ::  for the yellow shades, i'd suggest rummaging through the offerings of makeup forever. i haven't had an opportunity to swatch them all, but they appear to have a pretty good variety. for going bananas, you could also use a combination of mac nylon + canary yellow; dame's desire = fig. 1 [darker]; very violet = nars eurydice #2 [redder]; azalea blossom = nars gaiety

look #2 :: feeling peachy

one of the things that has always perplexed me is that i get along really well with colours that aren't supposed to work, like pink and peach shades. ironically, lighter pink-peach shades are worse on my lips than on my eyes, which is the opposite of what happens to most people. in this case, i worked with a liner [something i rarely do] to get the colour i wanted on my lips, but the eyes were pretty easy...

products used

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

the eyes ::
chanel e/s "complice" [peach with white shimmer]
chanel e/s "tiger lily" [tangerine with white sparkle]
mac e/s "full of flavour" [bright coral]*
mac e/s "hot hot hot" [bold reddened orange]*
mac e/s "call me bubbles" [dirty neutral highlight]*
urban decay 24/7 e/l "zero" [black]
dior new look mascara

cheeks ::
mac blush "hipness" [bright pink-peach]*
bobbi brown highlight powder "porcelain pearl" [soft white]

lips ::
mac lip liner "life's a breeze" [yellow pink]*
mac l/g "pink lemonade" [pink coral]

*suggested alternates :: full of flavour = mac free to be; hot hot hot = mac red brick [darker, redder, more muted]; call me bubbles = mac dazzlelight [lighter, brighter]; hipness = well, you could look for a duplicate, but it's also made a return as part of the mac summer collection "wash n dry", so why not go for the original?

look #3 :: summer's here!

this actually incorporates a little more colour than i'm used to and i feel like it reads as overdone. it's a lot of colour. that said, i really do like the summery version of the red/ green colour dichotomy and, again, the liner/ gloss combo gave me the sort of reddened nectarine shade i was looking for.

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

the eyes ::
mac e/s "sweet and punchy" [shimmery yellow lime]*
mac e/s "lime" [matte lime green]
mac e/s "humid" [frosted forest green]
mac e/s "firecracker" [shimmery red-orange]*
mac e/s "manila paper" [parchment yellow-white]*
urban decay 24/7 e/l "invasion" [dark green-teal]
dior new look mascara

cheeks ::
dior blush "new red" [soft coral red]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "diffused light" [yellowed white]

lips ::
mac lip liner redd" [warm tomato red]
mac l/g "fold and tuck" [muted peach]*

*suggested alternates :: sweet and punchy = mac lucky green [darker]; firecracker = mac coppering [bolder, darker, more red] or mythology [more muted, lighter]; manila paper = mac dazzlelight [lighter, cooler]; fold and tuck = chanel murmure [pinker, more sheer] or mac lychee luxe [brighter, less muted]

so these are my volleys into the world of colour. yes, it's true that i continue to favour the fallback kate face in every season, but at least i'm forcing myself to experiment a little. i hope you do the same. 


Kiss & Make-up said…
You look good in color! I have a thing for greens so I immediately fell for the last look :-)
Kate MacDonald said…
Thank you! I'm a big fan of greens myself- I find that there are good ones for every complexion.

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

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