Skip to main content

making faces :: my life as a nudist

as i was reviewing what i've been wearing on my face lately, i made a startling discovery: i've been going nude a lot. yes, i've been wearing clothes and yes, i've been wearing makeup, but, much more than usual, i've been favouring colours that are either neutral/ nude in tone, or qualify as "my lips but better". [i'm never 100% sure what separates those things, because surely a tone described as "nude" should mimic the colour of natural, nude lips, right? not so much.] these sorts of colours aren't necessarily ones that i avoid, but they're ones i find that i generally should avoid, because a lot of them just don't look good on my colouring.

nonetheless, i thought i'd share some of what i've been doing, because the last month has seen me come to terms with the potential of lip shades that area less bold, as something other than a balancing point for a smoky-eyed look. i'm slowly discovering why these are the colours that people turn to every day. doesn't mean i'm giving up on saturated colours, not by a long shot. after all, having gone through over a year of playing around with my amateur take on personal colour analysis, it turns out that those are likely the best shades on me, while nudes and neutrals should come with a giant warning sign over them "may make you look dead, and not in a cool way".

PLEASE MEET ME BEHIND THE BREAK


although they're not the only brand whose nudes i like, i find that nars has a talent for theses shades, so i thought i'd focus on some looks i've done with them lately, especially since i worry that their fine regular lipsticks are being forgotten in the wake of their incredibly [and justifiably] successful audacious lipsticks. 

mayflower




i've reviewed this colour and featured it in a series of posts about my favourite shades for spring, so i'm not left with a lot to say. this is definitely more in the "my lips but better" camp, since it's somewhat close to my lip colour, but a bit warmer. of any of the lipsticks in my collection, it's the one i'm closest to finishing, and no wonder. this is a great softer shade for women who can't pull off softer shades, because it has enough pigment that it will show up, but won't wash you out.

i'm wearing it here with marc jacobs "the mod" eye shadow trio [white, dirty silver and black] and yves st. laurent "rose baby doll" liquid eye liner. clearly, the liner is the star here, because it's really difficult to wear pink eye liner and have it not be the star. i also tried the combination of a cool pink blush [mac "dame"] and a bronzer [guerlain "terra inca", one of the very few bronzers i own], an effect i quite liked.

bilbao




this is one of these shades that i love and that i'm going to continue to wear even though logic dictates it shouldn't work on me. [it's one of my favourite browns.]it's a warm, softly shimmery kind of golden caramel brown. it's muted, light and warm, or, everything that i shouldn't look for in a lipstick. i don't care. i love this colour and, surprisingly, i love it on me. this is why i admire nars' nude shades. there is something about them that just seems to adapt a little better to individual skin tones.

that's nars "dolomites" on the eyes, combined with armani "eccentrico" blush and hourglass "radiant light" powder on the cheeks. none of this should work for me and certainly not together and maybe i'm deceiving myself, but i feel like it does come off rather nicely. [on top of the makeup, the clothes i'm wearing are low-contrast and muted, which are also things that shouldn't work for me. i'm just breaking all the rules.]

pago pago




this was another shade that i featured on my "spring flings" post a few years back. it's on the edge of what i can get away with, because it's light enough that it threatens to drain the colour out of my face. [it looks lighter in the photos than it actually is, though.] i find that it's redeemed by the shimmer, which adds a springtime radiance to both the lips and the look.

i've combined it here with mac's "a novel romance" eye shadow palette, along with estée lauder's limited beauty "sea star" [both a blush and a bronzer] and hourglass "luminous light". i think that this look might have been a little drab on me if i weren't wearing that very bold tomato red, because everything in the makeup, other than the eye liner [another important factor] is soft and muted.

of course, i do like softer colours from other brands as well and in the interests of balance, i thought i'd include a couple of them here.

fawn



when i look for something in the nude family, i think i have different ideas in my head than a lot of people. i absolutely do not want something that's closely matched to the colour of my skin. instead, i want something that is a muted version of something i'd normally wear. for instance, if you dialed down the saturation on something like dior "montmartre" and added a bit of brown-beige, i think the end result would probably look a lot like hourglass "fawn". 

raspberry zincite



it wouldn't be me if i didn't include at least one thing that wasn't available anymore. believe me, i mourn this one every time i look at my tube of this armani gloss, because it's my ultimate natural tone. it is actually very close to the colour of my lips. it's a bit darker, but not by much [unless i apply it quite heavily]. i know i have to save this shade, because i can't replace it, but it's just so easy to wear with anything. i'm going to hang my head for a few minutes now.

ok, i have to admit that a lot of these shades aren't even what most people would consider nudes. if you look at the photo at the top of this post [i have no idea who did this image originally, but i'd love to shake her hand], you'll see that most "nudes" are warm and peachy. but those kinds of shades are almost impossible for me to pull off. in fact, i think they're almost impossible for the majority of people to pull off [although power to you if you're one of them]. so i'll just stick with my slightly deeper, often pinker definition of a nude shade, because that's what works for me. 

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…

music review :: bad sector :: kosmodrom

there are obvious advantages for musicians who work within genres that are alaredy established. most people choose specific genres they like and find other music that fits within it. bands that are not easily placed in any one category either because they change their sound radically (witness the first ten years of current 93), or because they are simply difficult to define, like italy’s bad sector.

bad sector’s lone member, massimo magrini, is an outsider’s outsider in the music community. a forty-year old computer scientist and engineer, he builds many of the instruments he uses. His music reflects the cool scientific detachment one would expect from his background combined with the eccentric originality that comes with nought but a passing acquaintance with popular and underground music tropes.

since their inception in 1992, bad sector have released some awesome albums (“polonoid” is a personal favourite, although “the harrow” and “plasma” are likewise excellent.) the sound is a…

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…