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making faces :: fall for all, part 2 [a seasonal colour analysis experiment]

well, installment one was the easy part: coming up with autumn looks for the autumn seasons. now we move into seasonal colour types that aren't as well-aligned with the typical autumn palette. first up, we deal with the winter seasons: dark, true and bright.

in colour analysis, each "parent" season- spring, summer, autumn, winter- overlap with each other season in one colour dimension- hue [warm/ cool], value [light/ dark] and chroma [saturated/ muted]. autumn is warm, dark and muted [relatively speaking], whereas winter is cool, dark and saturated. so you can see that the points of crossover in palettes, the places where you can emphasize autumn's attributes, is in the darker shades.

it's unsurprising that as fall transitions into winter, you get the darkest shades of all. we've seen the warmer equivalent in the dark autumn look from last time, so from there, as with all neutral seasons, we move from the warmer to the cooler cognate...

dark winter

i love this palette so much. i love its richness, the jewel tones that lurk in its depths, the slight smoke overlay from adding just a hint of autumn's brown, the intensity of the colours as it's cranked up just a little from autumn's more muted range.

any of the winter blends can wear black to some extent and look good, and since this is a season all about the darkest darks, i figured why not embrace the elements?

the greys here are a bit muddy/ dirty. they're not the pristine white we'll see in winter. since this is a season that can take a lot of colour, i went with a pretty substantial flush on the cheeks, but gave it a smudgier, warmer look with "mood light". and the lip, well... like i said, i embraced those darkest darks.

[once again, the base i've used is nars all day luminous weightless foundation in "mont blanc", diorskin nude concealer "001" and mac paint pot in "painterly" on the eyelids as a primer.]

the eyes ::
burberry wet/ dry e/s "storm grey" [warm medium grey satin]
chantecaille iridescent e/s "basalt" [dirty oyster white]*
rbr e/s "alabaster starling" [greyed white with faint pink shimmer]
urban decay 24/7 e/l "perversion" [blackest ever black]
guerlain cils d'enfer mascara

the cheeks ::
nars blush "amour" [ruddy warm pink]
chanel ombre contraste "notorious" [lilac taupe contour]*
hourglass ambient lighting powder "mood light" [warm mauve]

the lips ::
urban decay matte revolution l/s "blackmail" [blackened berry]

suggested alternates ::  basalt = nars vent glacé shade #1 [warmer]; notorious = mac strada [warmer, lighter, pinker]

well that's not one but two new products that i haven't reviewed yet.

i'm thrilled that burberry have made an appearance at sephora, because it means that their products are finally available in canada. this is one of the two new formulas they've brought in to replace their old [and excellent] one. this new formula can be used wet or dry, which seems to be the way eye shadows are going these days. used either way, the finish seems satiny, but it develops more of a sheen when applied wet. although the pigment is a bit more intense wet, the sheen actually makes the colour appear a little lighter. i figured i'd try using it both ways to compare, so in the look you see here, i've applied the colour dry over most of the lid and into the crease, but wet in the inner and outer corners. [note: i layered "basalt" over "storm grey" on the centre of the lid.] the lasting power is very good both ways- as good as the previous burberry shadows- but after several hours, the difference between the dry and wet sections was negligible, meaning the wet application faded faster.

l to r :: storm grey dry, wet
"storm grey" is a warm grey [yay, rhyming]. it has significant brown undertones, but still stops short of turning taupe. most shades in the same range do cross the line into taupe [becoming more brown or lilac than grey], so it's nice to see such a useful neutral that's still quite unique. mac "copperplate" is in the same family, but swatched next to "storm grey" it looks almost pink. also, "copperplate" is completely matte [one of mac's few remaining matte2 shadows], compared to the lustrous finish of "storm grey", which is a very evident distinction in use.

l to r :: storm grey dry, wet, mac copperplate
second up, urban decay have launched a new line of matte lipsticks to complement the satin and sheer formulas that they already have. this is my first foray into the line, because i think i would have to turn in my vampy lip fan card if i didn't buy "blackmail". i thought that le metier de beauté's "bali" was as vamp as vamp could get without going completely black. i was wrong. because "blackmail" is not black and it doesn't look black, because there's a berry tint that is visible both in a swatch and on the lips... but damn, that is a dark colour. even on the darkest skin, this is going to be a strong shade, simply because the pigment is so intense, so it's the sort of thing you need a bit of "me! fuck yeah!" attitude to pull off or you're going to be self-conscious. screw self-conscious.

the other thing you're going to need is a devoted relationship with a good lip balm, because, like many mattes, this one is a bit drying. i don't find it as bad as older matte formulas, or like a lot of liquid lipstick formulas, but i definitely noticed some dryness and discomfort after a few hours. i suspect this shade might be worse than others in the range, because darker shades tend to run a bit dryer as a result of the extra pigment needed. that also means that it can be more difficult to get the pigment even, which is the case here, although it's far from the worst example i've seen.

one issue i have with the lipstick- and again, i think this might be something that's a bit more of a problem because of the shade intensity- is that the shape of the bullet [rounded] makes it extremely difficult to get a precise contour of the lips. i tried several times without success, then opted for a lip liner, only to discover that mac's "nightmoth" liner is several shades lighter than "blackmail", which makes the line look less sharp. finally, i had to concede defeat and use a lip brush, which is fine for initial application, but a pain in the ass if you have to reapply. i get that the rounded tip is kind of their thing, but i felt like this could have been better thought out.

however, i'm willing to forgive a lot for a shade that is this undeniably awesome. in order to convey its status of champion of vamps- vampion of the lipstick world- i thought i'd show you what it looks like next to "bali", my previous dark water mark.

l to r :: blackmail, lmdb bali

see what i mean? that is some serious darkness.

the outfit came to me because 1. i like tea skirts and 2. it's easy to forget that winter skin of all kinds benefits not just from darkness, but from contrast. hence, i chose something with some dark-winter appropriate colours, but with some sharp contrast built in there. yes, even the coral shades in that skirt are something i think a dark winter person could wear. [the hint of autumn keeps the shade just on the warm side of winter's cool pinks.] the skirt is a fairly recent purchase from h&m, and the "ballet" style ruched top [if you're self-conscious about your tummy, ruching is your friend] is from aime com moi. im' also wearing sleeve/ gloves from annie 50 and both the purse and the shoes are from fluevog.

and also, i'd just like to point out the most awesome part of what i'm wearing, not just because it has a nice tarnished silver look that goes with dark winter, but because it's a cthulu ear cuff. snagged on etsy.

doing a typically autumnal style in a dark winter palette is fairly easy. after all, they're siblings with just slightly different mixes of the same parent genes. from here on, though, it gets trickier.

true winter

cold and dark. colder and darker than anything. this is the sort of sharp-edged palette that seems irreconcilable with the cosy, rich tones of fall. but, starting from the shared ground of darkness, there's clearly some room to embrace a typically autumnal look.

for the makeup, i went with the most typical autumn staples: a smoky eye [although a daytime-appropriate one] and a dark lip. it's the same type of effect one would usually do for autumn, but cooled down. think of it as autumn, but on the morning after the first frost.

the eyes ::
marc jacobs e/s palette "the mod" [shimmery white, soft grey, sooty black]
urban decay 24/7 e/l "perversion" [blackest ever black]
guerlain cils d'enfer mascara

the cheeks ::
nars blush "coeur battant" [bright neon fuchsia]*
hourglass ambient lighting powder "incandescent light" [pearly pink-white]

the lips ::
bite beauty l/s "crimson" [deep wild rose pink]*

*suggested alternates :: coeur battant = mac full fuchsia [redder]; crimson = rouge d'armani 402

since the most important aspect of true winter colouring is coolness, absolutely everything in this look is on the cool side of the scale. while the makeup keeps to the deep and sultry palette established, it definitely lacks the cosiness of what we've seen thus far in our costmetic/ sartorial adventure. so to make up for that, i played around with some textures in the outfit.

the saturation of colour each seasonal group requires affects the choices of fabrics to some extent: a lightweight cotton can never be as vivid as satin or a newer synthetic. so when you move from a less saturated season like autumn to a more saturated one like winter, it can be easier to move away from the softer, nubbly, more textured fabrics into smoother, sleeker ones. but since those fabrics encompass an important part of the "fall feeling" to me, i tried to come to a compromise with the outfit: skirt is saturated black and shiny, but has a woven texture; cardigan is warm and cosy, but is a navy colour that's dark enough to look black in the shadows; silk scarf is icy pink but soft in texture; tights are synthetic for sharper definition between the black and grey [which probably isn't visible, but trust me], but have a prince of wales type pattern that seems a little rustic or old-fashioned. without meaning to, i associate the clothes and colours that go with winter and spring seasons with a more modern look, while summer and autumn seem a little more like things from a bygone era. [probably due to the requirements of higher saturation for winter and spring.] the boots have a more modern look, but the lacing seems older, because who wants to spend the time doing those up. [i do!!]

bright winter

now it's getting really complicated, because, for the first time, we have a neutral season that doesn't include any part of autumn. that means that there are some new challenges. but forward we shall go!

the challenges are that while we still have winter's darkness as a shared point, we're moving further away from that the further away from autumn we've gotten. bright winter colours are still mostly dark, but they're the least dark of any of the winter groups. plus, there's more warmth than we saw in the true winter palette, but it's spring warmth and not autumn's. this gets weird. there are points where winter and summer seasons can use each other's colours by putting them within a palette that's mostly their own. it works for the true seasons and also for the peripheral ones: dark winter and soft summer have commonalities because they share autumn's influence and the same is true with bright winter and light summer, which are touched by spring's warmth. however, with the two warm seasons, there's no such accord. autumn's gold and spring's yellow are antithetical to each other. autumn colours look muddy and limp on a spring complexion, spring's look loud and tacky on an autumn. so rather than more warmth making it easier to add in typically autumnal earth tones, it makes it more difficult.

and of course, there's the obvious: bright winter colours are bright. autumn colours are not. bright winters have that same cold "sharp" quality as true winters. [christine scaman of 12 blueprints uses that description, "sharp", for winter shades, and i think it's perfect. seriously, if you're able to connect with her or one of the analysts she's trained and get a session done for yourself, i don't know what you're wasting time with me for.] but these are bolder and somewhat lighter, which is a really difficult thing to reconcile with the moody, smoky tones of autumn.

i definitely had a "why am i even doing this?" moment, but the reason i do things like this on a blog, aside from the hope that they might be useful to someone, somewhere, is that it makes me feel worse about starting them and then not following through. so eventually, i was able to find a point of commonality: jewel tones. while the way in which they're incorporated may vary, there are variants of ruby, garnet, lapis, emerald, peridot, aquamarine, etc. within the autumn spectrum [more in dark autumn, which has some of the winter influence] that bright winters can also wear. plus, of course, there's room to play around with black and neutrals.

let's get this started...

the eyes ::
hourglass visionnaire e/s duo "suede" [champagne beige, soft taupe brown]*
le metier de beauté e/s "jade" [emerald green]
rouge bunny rouge e/s "unforgettable oriole" [shimmery white gold]
illamasqua precision gel e/l [matte black]
lancome lash primer
guerlain cils d'enfer mascara

the cheeks ::
armani blush "eccentrico" [bright pink-red]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "diffused light" [white with a touch of yellow]

the lips ::
tom ford l/s "reckless"

*suggested alternates :: suede = mac dazzlelight [lighter, more shimmery] + rouge bunny rouge solstice halcyon [darker, pinker]... those are lousy dupes, i'm sorry... i need to get more of the new hourglass palettes, because i think there may be better dupes for "suede" hidden therein; i believe that tom ford brought "reckless" back, but if i'm wrong, rouge d'armani #408 is a decent substitute, a little cooler in tone.

being lighter than the other two winters, it stands to reason that a deep, dramatic lip on a bright winter will be just a bit lighter too. but a deep red still captures that fall lip feel, no? [please say yes.] in the same way, a fall smoky or earth-tone eye will look like mud on a bright season complexion, but you can get the same impression of darkness with black liner, big lashes and a deep colour combined with neutrals. and if i haven't said it before, if you suspect that you're a bright season, you need hourglass "diffused light" in your makeup arsenal. it is the perfect highlighter/ finishing powder, with just a hint of spring yellow not gold.

i went with the same reliance on black + neutral + jewel tone logic for the outfit as well, since i felt like it worked pretty well with the makeup. well, i don't suppose peacock blue is a jewel tone, but it kinda works as a description... in my mind, at least. so i combined that with a very form fit pencil skirt, some boots that marry bright season zaniness with autumn fuzziness and, jewelry that marries bright season contrast with autumn weight. the jacket was a gift years back from my mother [go mom!], because i felt like things needed a little more contrast when i went out than my normal longer black coat.

in the last feature, i showed my choice for a polish to complement all three looks and this should be where i'm showing you the choice for my winter looks but i did not manage to get a good photo of it. sigh. the shade i chose was opi thank glogg it's friday, and you can see pictures of it that are way better than anything i would have taken here.

i'm anticipating that fall for spring, our next installment in the series, will be the most difficult one, but we shall see soon enough.

i'd also like to say a big thank you to my co-model lulu, who has made it very difficult to notice anything about me in the outfit photos. a born star. [and to simon, who snuck in for a brief photobomb this week.]


I'm really enjoying this series, since fall is my favorite season for makeup! I was drawn immediately to your dark winter look, which makes sense: I've suspected for a while that I might be a dark winter (I remember you once described dark winter as a "steampunk" season, which I love). Come to think of it, my newest lipstick, Milani Matte Fearless, is almost identical to Blackmail. And, like Blackmail, it's a little patchy. Oh well, I'll live.
morelikespace said…
Glad you like it! I definitely think that Dark Winter is a strong possibility for you too. Matte lipsticks can be so finicky, especially the darker ones. I'll be thrilled when someone manages to invent a really dark range that applies flawlessly. Still waiting, though...

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