Stolen From Your Granny’s Vanity

Revlon Moon Drops Lipstick in Persian Melon (top) and Blasé Apricot

Revlon Moon Drops Lipstick in Persian Melon (top) and Blasé Apricot

For years I have harbored an intense jealousy of older ladies. They have cool, colorful, eclectic style which favors piling on brooches and costume jewelry with wild abandon (a trend documented in the popular blog Advanced Style). They have awesome hair. And, like tiny white-haired hipsters, they were into vibrant lipstick before it was cool.

There is a little old lady product that has been doling out fresh, fierce pouts for eons. It’s in a tiny green tube that’s probably hidden on the bottom shelf of your local drugstore’s Revlon display. It has the flowery, powdery, perfumy scent of so many eccentric senior citizens in a church’s basement rec center on bingo night. It is Revlon Moon Drops lipstick. These tubes were available in delightfully vibrant hues before Bold Neon Lips were even a stray thought in Anna Wintour’s head (because we all know that Anna Wintour has been behind every major trend since 1965, and when she dies, Suri Cruise will inherit her fashionable throne).

As I previously mentioned, orange makeup in all its iterations is going to be a big trend for spring. I have embraced this trend in the lower frames of the above posted picture, in which I am wearing the shade Blasé Apricot. I’d describe this particular hue as falling somewhere between coral and heirloom tomato on the orange spectrum. The creme formula applied smoothly and wore beautifully for a couple of hours. It’s not a long-wear shade, but it had great color payoff and felt pleasantly moisturizing without feathering or bleeding. Persian Melon is an intense pink that is available in the same wonderful creme formula. They are currently available at Walgreens for $6.99.

Cop some fierce old lady style and try out Revlon Moon Drops lipsticks. The fragrance takes some getting used to, but the creamy formula is really top-notch.

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How To Wear Red and Green Makeup and Look Like Christmas Threw Up On Your Face

The inimitable Alle of xovain.com did a tutorial on totally wearable red and green makeup today.  It was beautiful and festive without screaming “Toddlers in Tiaras Christmas Pageant.”

But Toddlers in Tiaras and I have something in common. We’re not much ones for understatement.

I’m all about the Christmas zeitgeist. I want to spend every waking moment December 1st through 25th looking like Christmas threw up all over me. I find that my Crayola-hued red and green makeup perfectly compliments my Christmas sweater, featuring Santa in his workshop making birdhouses (no joke, there are 11 bird houses on my sweater). Shoulder pads are not necessary, but strongly recommended. The vibe is eccentric old lady meets kindergarten pageant.

Bonus Pic: the above mentioned sweater

This post was really just bragging about my festive holiday garb. Thanks, Mom, for being a pack rat and allowing me to raid your 25+ year old sweater collection.

Contouring: The Products, The Tools, The Color Theory

So pretty much everyone has done a contouring tutorial or video. Wayne Goss has done not one, not two, but three different videos. Jane Pratt’s beauty site xovain.com has published a couple of contouring articles.  As of late, the internet has been blowing up with glam_her_booth’s impressive contouring transformation, which has been reposted on various sites about a bajillion times.

Everyone should check out Tylor Kirsten (glam_her_booth) on Instagram, because she’s crazy talented.

So why should I bother with my own tutorial? It’s not going to be as pretty as Wayne’s and it certainly won’t be as dramatic as Tylor’s. Well, I’m gonna do what I do best: throw some science in this bitch. We’re gonna talk about color theory, we’re gonna talk about product formulations, and we’re gonna have an all-around good time. Let’s dive in. Continue reading

Q & A: Product “Pilling”

As previously mentioned, friends and acquaintances occasionally ask me about their skincare and makeup routines. I’ve decided to integrate some of these questions into a weekly Q & A post. Here goes round two:

Q: My makeup primer always “pills” (rolls up into little balls of product) when applied immediately after moisturizer. What gives?

A: Film-forming agents (check the ingredients list for polyvinylpyrrolidone, acrylates, acrylamides, and copolymers) are used in primers to create a smooth, even skin texture. They rest as a film on top of the skin, allowing makeup to glide easily over them. These film-forming agents are also strongly hydrophillic. Since oil and water don’t mix, by applying a hydrophillic primer over a hydrophobic moisturizer, you’ve bought yourself a first-class ticket on the express train to pill-town. Oil-based moisturizers (e.g. products containing petrolatum, dimethicone, and mineral or plant oils) will resist and repel primer, causing it to ball up rather than glide over skin evenly.

Other pilling culprits are gelling agents in primers (e.g. xanthan gum, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer) which are added to impart a pleasantly thick texture to the product. They are similarly hydrophilic and won’t stick to oil-moisturized skin.

There are two feasible solutions to this pesky pilling problem: either change your moisturizer, or give your existing moisturizer more time to absorb. I would recommend allowing your moisturizer a chance to sink in before applying primer and beginning your daily makeup routine. An extra five, ten, or fifteen minutes can make a world of difference. That said, I would not advise switching to an oil-free moisturizer. There are a wide variety of oils suitable for facial use on the market such that, for every skin type and concern, there is a product that will provide an optimal level of moisturization and other benefits. Additionally, between researching ingredients and patch testing, there is a lot of time and energy that goes into integrating a new moisturizer into your routine. If you already have a moisturizer that works for you, don’t go through the unnecessary trouble of replacing it when simply allowing it more time to absorb will solve the problem. 

Vixenly Villainess, Brought to You by MAC

Hot on the heels of the Maleficent Trailer release, MAC has announced plans for a new beauty collection inspired by everyone’s favorite spindle-loving party crasher.

If this collection is anything like the Venomous Villains collection that was introduced 3 years ago, I’m sure we’re in for a real treat (as an aside, those eyeshadows were my EVERYTHING). Bring on the red lips and pearlescent eyeshadows!

Did you enjoy the 2010 Maleficent set? What are your hopes for the 2013 edition?

EYELINER WEEK: Dual-Winged Liner

We’ve reached the end, my friends! The final post of Eyeliner Week (yes, I own a calendar and I know this took a lot longer than a week, but I already apologized, so there’s no need to harp on me) is upon us. To bring this blessed event to a close, today’s post will demonstrate another option for wearing the many colored liners I recently featured. As the title would suggest, we’ll be tackling dual-winged liner today. Dual-winged liner is two lines super-imposed on top of one another (as opposed to double-winged liner, which is a different animal altogether). It’s surprisingly easy, so let’s jump right in. Make an awkwardly unphotogenic face and let’s do this. Continue reading

Eyeliner Week: Colored Eyeliner

I have previously mentioned how, as a child, my folicular and sartorial choices were a regular source of embarrassment to my family. In addition to my odd taste in hairdos, I combined some colors, patterns, and textures that didn’t, in a traditional sense, “go together.” I was pretty well known among elementary school teachers, daycare providers, and family friends for my penchant for stripes, florals, and neons. Mind you, this was the early to mid ’90s, and get-ups like this where considered normal; you had to be pretty unique to stand out in a sea of day-glo crop tops and swishy wind breakers. The point of all this exposition is that I have long been a fan of color and makeup, and so you should probably trust me when it comes to recommendations for colored eyeliner. Below are some of my favorites, as well as two looks I created using exclusively colored liner. Stay tuned for the final post of Eyeliner Week: a tutorial for dual-winged liner that will feature (you guessed it) more fun, colored eyeliner! Continue reading