Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blue Tuesday - NARS Liquid Stylo Eyeliner in Atlantis

As i've mentioned in many other posts, i'm a complete fiend for liquid eyeliners;  i learned to use them back in my Punk Rock Girl days in the mid-1980's and i've never tired of them.
When i got a bit older, i branched out from the requisite black and ventured into the different colours that became available.  Back in the day, NARS came out with these amazing liquid-gel eyeliners in these little glass jars.  They were new and different because their texture was somewhere between - as i said - a liquid and a gel.  The came with a little brush and the colour selection was incredible.  I was in love with those liners, and had one in every colour.
For whatever reason, they were discontinued sometime after 2007 (i'm not entirely sure - during that time i was taking a break from the cosmetics industry and dealing with other things) and for me, eyeliners have never been the same.  I miss them.

Then, NARS released their version of a liquid eyeliner pen - it was pretty horrible.  The formula was thin, weak and runny.  I was crushed.

And then, in 2011, i believe, they reformulated the eyeliner pens and released the current Stylo Eyeliner.  Apparently they listened to their customers, because this new version ROCKS.  Every liquid eyeliner pen i ever try is compared to my Holy Grail, Le Metier de Beaute's Precision Eyeliner - it's a tough eyeliner to live up to.   NARS Stylo is very close, in my opinion.  Like the LMdB, the Stylo is opaque yet buildable, applies smoothly and stays on  my oily lids all day.  The ONLY complaint i have is that when my eyes get watery in the corners, it can smudge just the teensiest bit - which the LMdB somehow manages to never do.  BUT.  This is only under the extreme conditions of my allergy-riddled eyes when they're really leaking up a storm.
For instance, today my eyes do have a bit of the watery thing going on, but the NARS Stylo hasn't budged yet. It's not a waterproof liner, so that is pretty impressive, really.

Another really nice thing about these eyeliners is the colour selection.  There is, of course, the requisite black (Carpates)- but they also come in a navy blue (Atlantis, shown below), rich, lightish brown (Nuku Hiva), and grey (Koala). I find the brown one to be a bit too light, even bright for my tastes, preferring a darker, cooler brown.  However the rest of the shades are really gorgeous.

NARS Stylo Eyeliner in Atlantis

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hourglass Girl - Primer and Tinted Moisturizer Review

Here's a little review of a Sunday evening for you all - i fully intended to write this a bit earlier, but i am a lazy slug today.  However, i took the first photos quite early and then gave the products all day on my face so i could take periodic pictures for the sake of being thorough.

Because i CARE.

Right - so anyway, i did a few things here today with my makeup, but this is entry is going to concentrate mostly on the skin products as opposed to my fabulous eye-makeup - which i'll address in detail tomorrow, which is Monday, which means my makeup will be un-exciting and ill-executed, if history is any indication.

Lately i've been on a serious skincare kick - which, for me, includes the primer and foundation (or lack thereof) i use.  In fact, i generally avoid full-on foundation when i'm trying to give my skin extra care, and tend to stick to tinted moisturizers/BB creams.  But then i decide my skin is disgusting and needs the heaviest foundation i can find in order to hide it...
It's a problem.  I'm sick.

These days, however, i'm mostly wearing my Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer and Veil Mineral Primer.  Well, in reverse order, really.  Obviously one puts on the primer first.
I told you i was tired!

I just recently started wearing primers on my face again (i know - the horror), and started out with one of the very originals back in the day - Clarins Beauty Flash Balm.
I ran out about a year ago and never bothered to replace it, but in the interim there have been so many new primers that have come out that i have a lot of catching up to do.
One of my favourites is Mister Mat by Givenchy, because it can be put on under AND over one's foundation - a MUST for people like me who get super-oily in the summer.
I much prefer slicking that on over my makeup as opposed to just constantly piling on powder, because gross.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Crush With Eyeliner - Le Metier de Beaute Precision Eyeliner

I'm a huge fan of liquid eyeliner.  Let me just get that out of the way right now.  Especially black liquid eyeliner.
If i were stranded on an island and was actually dim enough to be worrying about makeup instead of - you know - surviving, i'd want my favourite liquid eyeliner with me.

Not all liquid eyeliners are the same - and this becomes more apparent/important when your lids begin to show the signs of ageing.  In point of fact, the main argument against them -  for Women of a Certain Age - is that they can tend to look too "harsh".  It's a simple reality that, as one no longer possesses bouncy, fresh, elastic lids, one must use "softer" eye-makeup to compensate or one runs the risk looking looking like Cruella DeVille.

My lids are in fairly good shape for an old bird - but i most emphatically do not have flawless skin in that area.  There's just the faintest signs of sagging - but they are there.
However, i am not about to give up my favourite makeup item - perish the thought!  So, for a while, i compensated by first laying down a pencil-liner for the softening effect, then drawing a thinner, less-obvious line, very close to the lash-line with whatever random liquid liner i had on-hand.  That way, i'd get the soft, blurring effect of the pencil liner without sacrificing the intensity of the liquid.

The problem is, i abhor effort.  Because i like to do a finished-eye/bare face kind of look a la Edie Sedgwick, Brigitte Bardot et al most days, i don't enjoy having to do two steps to achieve an effect in deference to not being 23 anymore.  It's...irritating and inelegant, ultimately.  Not only that, many liquid liners don't hold up well layered over pencil.  They can crack, flake and smudge.

Enter Le Metier de Beaute's Precision Liquid Eyeliner.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review - Givenchy Teint Couture Long-Wearing Compact Foundation & Illuminator

No. 2 Elegant Shell (looks darker here than in person - sorry)

Over the weekend, I managed to get my hands on a brand-new powder foundation from Givenchy - the Teint Couture Long-Wearing Compact Foundation & Illuminator (SPF 10).  I realize that's quite a mouthful, there - but then, the cosmetic world is seldom known for its' brevity...

It is so new, as a matter of fact, that they didn't even have the testers out on the display at Sephora yet.  But i was drawn to the lovely photo on the display of the model with hair identical to mine, which certainly grabbed my attention - but also to the cute little strip of pink at the bottom of the pan and the positively HUGE mirror.

So, i grabbed a sales-woman and asked - no doubt with a sincere, puppy-doggish desperation gleaming in my eyes - if she could please see if there were at least one or two testers somewhere in the back for me to paw at, please?

She took one look at me and said - "You'll be the palest one, of course - let me go check!".

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Basic Eye Tutorial - In Excrutiating Detail, with Pictures!

Last week, i was asked on my Facebook page if i could do a tutorial for a very basic eye-makeup look.

Oh, what a can of worms you opened up, my dear girl!

For i love to do detailed tutorials with LOADS of pics and many many words :).  I realize it would most likely be much easier to follow if this were a video, but alas, my video camera is God-only-knows-where; and besides, i enjoy writing. So, hopefully, this will be clear and practical enough to follow, even for the most severely Makeup Challenged of you out there.

I asked Husband to read it through - thinking that if he felt HE could do this look afterwards, then i will have succeeded.

*waits patiently for Husband to email over perfectly made-up photos from North Carolina*

First, let's gather our tools.
The following are some basic tools you should probably have in your eyeshadow-brush arsenal in order to achieve the best result for most looks. Of course you can do your eyeshadow with your fingers (i worked with a Makeup Artist in Honolulu who did just that - it was amazing), or even those crappy little sponge applicators they always insist on giving you when you buy eyeshadow.  But these are what i'd consider to be the most basic, useful brushes to have around.  You can make do with what you've got available in the meantime.  
I use and adore Hakuhodo brushes, and also have a few MAC and Sephora brushes as well.  In my opinion, the Sephora brushes are the lowest on the totem and the cream of the crop are Hakuhodo.  MAC has generally decent, servicable brushes that are a good investment if you want brushes that will last you a bit, provided you care for them.  However, many of the Hakuhodu brushes are comparable in price to MAC - but they are ever so much softer, denser and of such all-around better quality that it's worth it to me to have to order them online instead of popping into a MAC counter for ultimately sub-standard brushes.  

I'll do a post on my all-time favourite brushes in a following tutorial, but for now, let's just get the basics down:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Novocaine Beauty - How My Makeup Held Up at the Little Shop of Horrors

Today, my little Kumquats, was a dismal day indeed for me.  Once again, i had to steel myself for another installment in The Teeth Chronicles.  My teeth and i, you see, are at War.
For various and sundry reasons (including poor diet, years of seizure medication and a long and unfortunate stint of entirely Too Much Wine which is now thankfully over), my teeth are falling to pieces.  In some instances, quite literally.
However, thanks to being blessed with incredibly generous in-laws and a husband who is willing to go to bat for me in such matters, i am getting ALL THE THINGS done in one fell swoop.
I'll be paying it off until i'm 108, but if the rest of the women in my family are any indication, i may just make it to that age...

In any case, one cannot face a long and invasive trip to the dentist with a bare face.

So, despite waking up with a burgeoning migraine (which of course transformed into a full-blown Migraine with capital letters, bells, whistles and flashing lights once under the drills) and being in a Terrible Rush, I decided to test out a few products for their chops under extreme circumstances.
Such as, bright-ass lights shining in your face, drooling, novocaine, uncontrollable eye-watering, blood and possibly explosions.  I didn't have time for a Before Dentist photo with the finished result, but i did take an After (see how brave i am?  Or maybe it's the drugs...)

                                              Lopsided, half-numb-faced grin

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

La Fee Verte - Green Fairy Eyes

This morning i felt inspired to do something fun and whimsical with a good, old fashioned liquid liner cat-eye.  Probably because i'm cranky - and a good cat-eye with punk-rock BLACK liquid eyeliner always puts me in a better mood.

This crankiness is, of course, due to having unpleasant dental work done  last night - i'm still bleeding from my gums, PLUS (wouldn't you know it)  i'm hormonal, and have killer cramps.

There's just entirely just too much blood involved in my day today.

But, there is a silver lining (even if it is just an eyeliner) -  I have this gorgeous green eyeshadow i've been dying to play with, and it turns out that today is a green eyeshadow kind of day.  I imagine it's some sort of subconscious desire to cancel out all the red...


So i don't know about you, but when i'm having a cruddy day, i have certain clothes and makeup i like to  wear to make me feel better.  A particular dress, a certain lipstick - or something new and fun.
Today i was missing my old favourite green dress; a diaphanous, fay little thing that made me feel like a dryad, it eventually fell to pieces a while back because i wore it so often.
As it turns out, it was almost the exact colour of this eyeshadow.  So, in lieu of my makes-me-feel-good-no-matter-how-crappy-today-is green faerie dress, i used makeup!  A pretty green eyeshadow, my trusty liquid eyeliner and a favourite lipstick.

My gums may be aching and bleeding, my hormones may be raging - but at least my makeup looks pretty!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Brigitte Bardot Eyes - and a little LMdB technique rant

Ah, Brigitte.
Fifty-odd years and counting later, and we're still enthralled by your beauty.
And your makeup...

                                              Bardot and her smokey eyes

If you've been reading this blog at all, you know how obsessed i am with black eyeliner, pretty, natural blush and nude lips.  And Ms. Bardot was the Queen of this look.  Whenever i tire of my ubiquitous cat-eye look, the 60's Bardot smokey-eye is my next favourite .
But i have to be feeling extra-confident to do that whole dark-liner-ringing-the-eyes-and-in-the-waterline thing, because i feel it makes me look all squinty if i'm not looking my absolute best.
A good 8-hours of sleep is a definite pre-requisite.
But on her, it seemed so natural and looked so good, her makeup almost seemed like an extension of her.  Her image is inextricably tied up with her signature makeup look - and i'm STILL trying to nail it.

                                        Bardot - so gorgeous it makes me kinda ill

The key, of course, is to balance out that fully-lined and shadowed eye with a fresh, glowy face, natural-looking blush and a pale (but not corpse-pale, ditch the concealer lips, people) lip.  Not many women know how to find that delicate balance between sultry and girl-next-door.  Bardot not only owned it - she tied it up, branded it, knocked it on its ass and then sat on it, lighting up a cigarette.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Couches de Couleurs with Eyeliner

Yesterday i waxed rhapsodic over my Le Metier de Beaute Melange de Couleur palette, and promised another look using the Couches de Couleurs technique, LMdB's "proprietary" method of applying eyeshadow.  I use the quotations with a touch of smarminess because truly, makeup artists have been blending, layering and smudging colours on the eyelid to achieve a wash of complex gradient colour since - well, since i started as a makeup artist, which was back in the Time of the Dinosaurs (the late 1980's).

However, before LMdB, no makeup company brought it into the light, embraced it and incorporated it into their company image the way LMdB has.

And they rock the Hell out of it.

And what they did for me was to remind me that makeup doesn't have to make one look like one has a "walking art installation" (thank you for that one, Mikey Castillo of LMdB) on one's eyelids to be fresh, unique and creative.
Now, i love a creative, Siouxie Sioux inspired eye as much as the next girl - even if a dismally depressing number of these people don't even know she's the public figure who single-handedly, with her black-painted talons glistening, brought the look into popularity back in the early 80's.  And of course, she was in turn inspired by the Egyptian eye-makeup from back before even my time...

But i digress.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

It's a Le Metier de Beaute Kinda Day

August is already here, and i'm in the mood for some Fall colours, damn it.  Not that i don't love Summer and all, but it's been a scorcher here, and frankly i'm sick of seeing TANS everywhere.
As a Tubercular Irish Wastrel with the pallor of a laudanum addict, i object to such displays.
Also, i can't tan.  I just turn beet-red and then peel for two weeks and then go back to ghostly-white.

So today, i used some rich jewel-tones using LMdB's couches de colours  (video) technique - which is a specific way they teach of blending their eyeshadows in combinations of both cool and hot tones to create an ostensibly endless palette of colours to work with, and to balance out the overall end-result.
The Beauty Professor generously provided their face charts, featured looks and techniques in her post here!  They emphasize that one mustn't necessarily follow their techniques precisely - that it's all about creativity and having fun, which is exactly what i did!  

I used the absolutely gorgeous palette from this Spring, Melange de Couleur.  I know, i know - i'm an evil temptress; i realize the palette has been sold out since about April or so.  However, the resourceful amongst you can still occasionally find it on Ebay, or find a similar match to many of the colours used in their permanent, full-sized line.  

                                LMdB Melange de Couleur palette, Spring 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Confederate Blue & Gold Eyeshadow and the Insomnia Blues

At this writing, my Husband is blazing through the winding roads of Black Mountain, NC - fueled on energy drinks and waving the Confederate Flag out the window in honour of our new home.
He left at 9pm and drove through the night like a crazed bat-out-of-Hell (aka Chicago), sustained only by Red Bull and an intrepid spirit!
Hunter S. Thompson, eat your heart out.

And yes, gentle readers - Yours Truly is still in Hell Chicago, tying up loose ends and completing my obligations here in the city before i hop a Greyhound to join him in a few weeks.  As you can imagine, i didn't sleep much last night - envisioning my adventurous husband driving through the night in unfamiliar territory, Deliverance music playing ominously in the background, stalked by bears, without Moi to nag him about all and sundry and telling him to eat and ask for directions.  
So, my little Kumquats, this post is in honour of my husband, Dan and our new Mountain Home - as well as yet another tutorial on how to look human when one is feeling like Microwaved Death...
Let's walk through it step-by-step, shall we? 

1. Wake up - if one can call it that - after getting a staggeringly useless 2 1/2 hours of fitful sleep.
2. Stumble heavily out of now far-too-large bed, bang shins on footboard.  
3. Curse colourfully.
4. Stagger downstairs to get coffee from yesterday out of fridge to nuke before shower.
5. Find house-mate has helpfully tossed out my coffee.
6. Curse colourfully.
7. Find coffee in coffee-maker, house-mate instantly redeemed!
8. Upstairs, shower - i now have 45 minutes before i must walk to bus.
9. Stare helplessly at massive palette of eyeshadows.
10. Pick out Confederate-blue peasant blouse from closet in a fit of Irony. 
11. Decide to go all matchy-matchy with eyeshadow - because i'm all about irony.  And because Confederate-blue & gold eyeshadow, yo.
12. Finish eyes in record-time, narrowly escaping gauging eyeballs out with pointy eyeliner-brush.
13. Slap on a bit of stick-foundation on red-bits, blush/powder/lipstick GO!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hey, Blondie! Colouring Your Hair Like A Pro

I get a lot of questions regarding my very blonde hair colour - and so i decided to do an in-depth post about what i do and the brands i use to keep my hair looking bright, shiny and professionally coloured.


    Me in my goldie-locks phase - before chopping it all off

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Why 40 is Awesome...

                                Clear skin and killer cheekbones ;)  Self-portrait.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pretty on the Outside - Beauty for Sick Girls, Pt. 2

Yesterday, i talked about how to make oneself fit for human eyes when one is sick as a cat.  Today was a real challenge, too - like a sick cat, i wanted nothing more than to crawl under an El Camino and die.
BUT - i had Things to do!  Final perfume orders to pack before the Lab gets shipped down to North Caroline (eek!), errands to run, yet MORE bubblewrap to acquire, et al.

And a girl simply CANNOT greet a day like today with a green face, my dear.

And so, i drank coffee & showered myself into some semblance of sentience and pulled myself together - with a little (a lot, let's be honest) help from my friends - if one can count cosmetics as friends.  I know I do.  >_>
And also Husband - who went out and got the coffee AND drove me to the Post Office, which is only two blocks away. <3

Today, i tested out my Guerlain Parure de Lumiere  foundation - by which i mean i needed to see how matchy-matchy it is with my skin now that i've got a bit of colour underneath my sickly pallor - and i wasn't too sure if it would be too pale.
Alas, it was.
However, this foundation oxidizes ever-so-slightly and so blends in almost perfectly after about half an hour; so, while not ideal, it certainly looked good - even very good, which is what one would expect from this foundation, after all.

Now, after trawling my already-weary-at-10-in-the-bloody-morning carcass out of the shower, i realized i had to get it together fairly quickly (am i not always in some kind of terrible rush?).  And, also like yesterday, i have limited energy to devote to my beautification process; but deal with it i must, if i am to confront the world sans the green face.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sick and Pretty - Beauty for the Chronically Ill Girl

Today's post is about how to make oneself fit for human eyes when in the throes of an Autoimmune flare-up - or maybe just a really bad cold.

Which is how this started out, to be honest.

The thing with having an over-active immune system is that it comes and goes in waves - and something as simple and lame as a nasty cold or too much stress can trigger it.
Much of the time, nobody would guess i'm dealing with chronic illness/pain.
I've learned to hide out on the really bad days as much as possible (i'm lucky that my job allows this), and when i can't, i make damn sure i am looking as good as possible so nobody is asking me "are you feeling OK??"
There is nothing that a Chronic Illness Person despises and dreads more than the Are-You-Feeling-Ok  questions.  We feel crappy, and suspect we look crappy. This question just confirms it.

Perhaps you would think the solution is spackling on inch-thick foundation, piling on blush and painting my eyes a la Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra.  But no.  In fact, in a situation when one's skin is pallid and weirdly dry-yet-clammy, and one's eyes are prone to puffiness and redness, the last thing we want is to slather on the Warpaint.

                                                     Maybe this weekend...

Just as the extremely young can get away with unseemly amounts of makeup and still look good, the opposite holds true for the sick person.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Harlequin Makeup - Not Acting My Age

Hi, everyone - i'm sick with a cold so today is another self-portrait post from my portfolio.  

I really enjoy doing fantasy-makeup - and this was relatively easy to achieve, using black eyeliner/shadow and lipstick, and a set of false eyelashes. Sometimes, the most dramatic effects can be achieved just by keeping things simple - i used no blush, and only two colours - black and a highlight under the browbone - to do this look.

The eyeliner is all pencil - the blackest black you can find, and preferably waterproof.  
I like UD Perversion eyeliner, as well as Chanel Stylo Yeaux in Noir Intense, and YSL #1.  On the cheaper end, Milani Black is very good as well. 

The lips are MAC Black Knight lipstick, which you can find on eBay, but you can just as easily use black eyeliner if you don't feel like shelling out the cash for something you won't use very often.  Manic Panic makes a black lipstick as well, which i used in high school :).

The fun thing about makeup is that, ultimately, it's ALL fantasy, ALL frivolity.  
I am 40 (ish) now (and in this photo), and still love doing this sort of makeup for my self-portrait photography projects.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Crush With Eyeliner

Good morning, my little Kumquats!

Today i thought i'd write a bit about my obsession with eyeliner - we all have our go-to look for days when we're pressed for time or maybe just feeling lazy.  For me, it's a relatively clean-eye with maybe two (at most) light coloured eyeshadows, gel eyeliner and a nude lip.

No matter how little time i have to get ready, i know i can whip on some eyeliner, practically with my eyes closed.
In fact, if i was forced at crossbow-point to choose only ONE cosmetic product for the rest of my life (what a terrifying thought!), it would be eyeliner.  I pretty much feel naked without it.  I learned how to do a basic cat-eye when i was a wee Twiglet of 14 - and now i'm so adept at it that i can whip it on in under a minute.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Androgynous Monday

I'm a bit knackered for a full-blown post/tutorial today - so here's a self-portrait pic straight from my portfolio.

If i had to define my style, it would most definitely be what is referred to in the fashion world as "Garconne" - which in English loosely translates as "tomboyish" or androgynous.
The term was coined in France in 1880 to describe women who dressed in mannish clothing and cropped their hair short.
Katherine Hepburn is a classic example (long hair notwithstanding); she was rumoured to have not one dress in her closet.
The style -  the way i manifest it,  anyway - is a fine balance of both the masculine and feminine.
I love makeup, obviously - but i'm not much for frills and lace and other "feminine" trappings. Once in a while i'll get bitten the dress-bug - but i'm most comfortable in slacks/jeans.
On the regular, my daily "uniform" consists of boots, jeans and a tank or T-shirt and a hoodie.
I keep my hair and nails short (keep saying i'm going to grow them both out...ha!), i don't really see much point in high heels (except on rare occasions - it has been known to happen).
If i wear a more "feminine" outfit, i *need* that short hair to balance it out.
And i wouldn't be caught dead without eyeliner.

Conventional Femininity, to me, has far too strictured rules - and i'm not much for rules.
Even living in a big, ostensibly cosmopolitan and modern city like Chicago, i still get the regular "dyke" comments - which doesn't bother me except the fact that it's meant to be derogatory.  It's the ignorance and bigotry that bothers me.

Seems to me there's not much more feminine than loving other women, after all...

I happen to be married to a guy - but on the continuum of sexuality as well as style, i seem to fall pretty neatly right in the middle.
To me, style and sexuality are fluid.  I've always been a fan of guys in drag and women in combat boots.

Rules regarding style, just like in life, are meant to be broken.

Happy Monday, and see you all soon!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hakuhodo Brush Love

Yesterday my very first Hakuhodo brush order arrived!
I've only used them twice but i'm completely hooked - Hakuhodo has a new convert.

I first discovered these brushes through sweetmakeuptemptations.com - the lovely and knowledgable Sonia has been sharing her love of these incredibly special brushes with her readers (as well as a couple other Japanese companies i'd never heard of until stumbling across her blog) for a while now - and after reading of her incredible trip to visit the Hakuhodo company, i finally decided to take the plunge.

The Hakuhodo brushes come in different "series" - from prices comparable to MAC all the way up to Tom Ford. For my first order, i limited myself mainly to eyeshadow brushes from the moderately priced J (which uses predominantly beautiful, natural white goat hair) and G series - as well as one foundation brush and one shadow brush that can be used to conceal around the eyes.
The more luxurious and dearly priced S100 and Kokutan series boast beautiful, artistic handles and use a lot of blue squirrel & weasel, as opposed to goat and horse.
I've heard that the quality is superb across all the series, however, and for some it's simply a matter of aesthetics to purchase the pricier lines.  I have yet to put this to the test myself, but it's hard to imagine the quality and softness getting much better than the more moderately priced series!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Smokey Tuesday Tutorial - EOTD

Hello, Kumquats!  Just a quick EOTD today...

Every time i finish packing up a large perfume order, i inevitably need a long, relaxing shower to get the work of the day rinsed off.  And, every time i get out of the shower, i have this Pavlovian need to play with makeup.
Even if i have nowhere to go, and the only person who will see it is our half-blind old Rottie, Romeo.
So, today, i decided to play around with a couple of my Inglot shadows i hadn't gotten around to yet, as well as a Smashbox shadow-pencil i'd totally forgotten i owned, which is a shame because it's really great and i must put it into my rotation more frequently.

I challenge you to go root through the recesses of your makeup-case(s)/bag(s) and see what tidbits (which you bought months ago and somehow totally forgot about) you manage to fish out - it's almost like getting new makeup!

Anyway, today was yet again another brutally hot mess here in Chicago - and so i was faced (ha ha) with the challenge of getting my FACE to stay on in the wretched 95 degree heat and withering humidity.  As usual, i put my foundation/powder on last - otherwise it would have melted off by the time i got my eyes put together.  The upstairs area where i do my makeup is woefully under air-conditioned - it's as if there is some force that prevents the air from actually reaching farther than 3 feet out from the AC unit...

But i digress.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Bit of Sleep-Deprived, Morning Makeover Magic with Chantecaille on the Magnificent (albeit ripe) Mile!

Happy Monday, my little Kumquats!

My apologies for the lack of posting this weekend - it was a doozy. 
My friend, L, for whom i offer my Mary Poppins services on a regular basis, was having her baby...two months ahead of schedule.  
So as you might imagine, it was utter chaos and worry and no-sleep all weekend, as i stayed with their little toddler so Papa could be at hospital with L.  Thankfully, the wee new baby is doing well. 

Not a whole lotta beautification going on this weekend, needless to say.  

But, i made up for it (and then some) today when i decided this morning that i needed a bit of pampering. Like any good Chicagoan, i headed down to the Magnificent Mile and limped my weary bones (and skin...ugh) into Neimans, hoping to run into my favourite Tom Ford BA.  

Sadly, she was not working today - but when i desperately uttered "Chantecaille?",  to the attentive girls at TF, i was gently escorted over to my new best Esthetician friend, Ezzat of the Magic Hands.  

How cool is her name, by the way?  

I don't know about y'all (leave me be, i'm practicing for our impending move to Asheville, NC) - but when my skin is fatigued and miserable and patchy and dry/oily all at once and generally needs to look fresh and beautiful again despite severe sleep deprivation and burgeoning migraine, i think Chantecaille

Friday, July 12, 2013

How To Wear Red Eyeshadow Without Looking Like A Consumptive 19th Century Morphine-Addict

                   Pale, Tubercular Irish Wastrel? Maybe.  But Consumptive, no!

As the Fall makeup collections begin to hit the stores (already!), we inevitably get bombarded with intriguing and lovely eyeshadows with names like "Berry" and "Wine" and "Fall Leaves" and various other Autumn-appropriate colours.  And if you're like me, you look longingly - wistfully, even - at the lovely wine-reds and think;

That's going to make me look like a hungover, convalescing morphine addict from the 1800s.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

American Woman - EOTD

Inspired by all the Red, White and Blue looks from last week, i busted out the sparkly gold and blue shadows and threw on a red top (i know my white bra-straps are showing. It's patriotic. It's fine).
 I wasn't particularly inspired to do one ON the 4th, which is also fine.
And i skipped the requisite red lip, which is just pure contrariness on my part because i do like a nice red lip on occasion...

But it's fine!

This was a fun look to do - i actually had enough time this morning (which is fairly miraculous) to play with colour under my eyes for a change.  
A word about that - i often will skip any under-eye shadow and liner during the weekday.  The short explanation for that is time-constraint - but also, lining under the eyes can be a tricky thing for women in their 40s.  Overdo it just a bit and it can be incredibly aging and "Sunset Boulevard".
I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille!
However, keeping the area light - with maybe a light peach in the waterline and close to the lashes - can really open up the eyes and make them look youthful and awake. 

And who doesn't want that? 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cool Blue Eyes in 92 Degree heat - Tom Ford, Christian Dior, Urban Decay, MAC , Siouxie & the Banshees & more.

Theme song for today's FOTD

Every once in awhile, I get some wild, girlish idea to do a full, complex eye-look in the Dog Days of summer, whilst recovering from a migraine so intense it woke me up at 5:42 am, and had me puking into the bedroom garbage can - helpfully held up to my face by my half-asleep husband.

I apologize for the visuals on that...

We're getting off to a great start, now aren't we?
Anyway, that was what i decided to do - because that's what kind of Hardcore Makeup Hellion that i am.

Hardcore Makeup Hellion

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

NARS Hula Hula Tuesday!

                                                             NARS Hula Hula eyeshadow duo

Yesterday's abysmal post may have been a bit lacking - but i promised i'd come back with some more detailed pics of my newly acquired NARS Hula Hula shadow duo.  Technically, it's really a re-purchase - but i haven't had it in my hot little hands (or on my hot little eyes) for a while.

Since i hit the snooze one too many times yet again, i wasn't able to get terribly creative and so this is still my basic go-to look which i wore yesterday, except i changed up the liner, lipstick and blush as well as the powder.
Also, it's like SAUNA hot outside, and too much makeup is just overkill.  It's definitely a litmus test for my products on a day like today.  I've been out and about for about 3 hours in the jungle-like humidity and so far, it's held up pretty well!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Makeup for Insomniacs - 5 Minute Face for a Pink Monday

Good morning, and happy Monday to everyone! *grumbles*
This is a super-quick post with a sorry lack of eye close-ups - but hopefully you'll get the general idea.  Tomorrow i'll be doing a more detailed FOTD using the same shadow combo, however, so stay tuned for that!

So, if you're anything at all like me, then no matter how much you may love your job, Mondays  still manage to fill you with a kind of vague loathing.
I never, ever sleep well on Sunday nights.

Here is the way a Monday typically goes around here...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Barbarella Bird-Girl - loads of pics!

Hello, my little Kumquats!  
Today's tutorial is based on a character from the movie Barbarella - i can't for the life of me find any still photos of this woman but she had a shaved head with a feathered head-dress, and makeup which made her look rather bird-like.  
This sort of look fits my features perfectly, what with my very beak-like nose and penetrating (some might say "creepily intense", ahem) eyeballs...
What i tried to achieve here is that unmistakable 1960s heavy-eye and nude-lip thing with a stylized fantasy twist.  Like, y'know - Barbarella.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

First Tutorial! Super-Simple, Non-Boring Nude FOTD for a Saturday; Pic-heavy!

Today for my first tutorial i'm doing a simple FOTD using minimal products.
This is one of my go-to looks for days when i'm feeling a little under-the-weather - nothing serious, just a little Autoimmune flare-up, but i find that on days like today my skin can be a little (a lot) pale and peaked, and my eyes a little tired.
This look, using a nude palette, will help to open up the eyes and add a bit of much-needed healthy, natural-looking colour without being complicated or overdone.
A nude lip adds the finishing touch.  Check it out:

Friday, July 5, 2013

Begin at the Beginning

Well hello, there.

My name is Coco Twyla Schneider and you can call me Twyla. Or Coco.  I get both.  I'm a little multiple-personality that way. :)

                                          My name is Twyla and I am a makeup-addict

Yes, it's yet another beauty blog.  And I know there are a million out there already.
What do I do that is unique on this blog out of all the other gazillion blogs out there?  A couple things.
Firstly, I was a professional makeup artist for 16 years (and preparing to re-enter the industry!).  Before that - back in the time of the dinosaurs - I was a model.  This stuff gives me some experience, passion and knowledge you might not get elsewhere right off the bat.