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.

So today, i found myself with a little extra time on my hands in the wee hours of the morning (to me, that's 6 am) - and a whole pile of makeup just sitting there...staring at me.
I'm already adept at the glowy skin and pale lip thing - it's my go-to look, so that part was easy.  And smokey eyes are a dime a dozen.  But could i nail the Bardot smokey eye? That perfect balance of peachy-pale and smokey eyeshadow with heavy black eyeliner?

At 6 in the morning??

I gazed deeply, lovingly into my current favourite palette - Le Metier de Beaute's  Melange de Couleurs - and decided to try the layering technique i've been going on about recently to achieve the look i was going for.
Unlike yesterday's EOTD, this needed to be a nice neutral look - no obvious jewel-tones, mostly taupes and creams.
However, to achieve that, i used some colours one might not expect.

Allow me to meander a bit off the main point for a moment, here.
Say what you will about the LMdB Couches de Couleur  blending-technique being merely a marketing gimmick to get people to buy more eyeshadows,  leaving one with a muddy mess on the eye; i think with a little common sense, creativity and willingness to NOT follow their technique to the letter, you can make it work for you. And work beautifully.

Many people in the blog-o-sphere opine that, when using the basic four-colour palette LMdB recommends, they end up with the Mud.  But it just takes a bit of tweaking, i've found.

It gets easier to know where to stop when playing around with the layering - sometimes, three shadows blended together looks amazing - but you add that fourth, and voila, mon cheres - Le Muck.
It's sort of a trial and error thing.

It stands to reason that if you mix together too many colours, you are going to get...well...sludge.  As much as i adore LMdB, i find that - sometimes - their blending recommendations are a little too too...
Which is why we end up with mud.
Try it with paint: mix together two or three contrasting shades, you can come up with something lovely.  Add in one too many, and you have a sludgy mess that only Oscar the Grouch would love.

This, my little Kumquats, is where artistry comes in.

And you can do it!
The key, i've found, is to just play around a bit to see what works with what for you.
And for the love of Common Sense - if you've already blended like three shadows on your lid and it looks pretty, then STOP!   If you want it to be a bit smokier, then use those really dark shades only against the lash-line - blending it out NOT all the way up to the brow, rather smudging it in so there are no obvious lines of demarcation.

Alas, we are not all painters - but we shouldn't have to be in order to pull together a gorgeous look with these shadows.  So, play around with it - and you, too, will find that happy balance between Beauty and Muck.

The good news is, is there is no RULE that says one must use every shade that comes in one of their palettes on the eye at once, or that one must use their Couches de Couleur technique.  If that isn't working for you - then don't do it.  It doesn't mean the palette is useless, it just means you can get MORE LOOKS OUT OF IT.

And so, with no further rambling adieu, the Brigitte look:

                                                    Not a muddy eye in sight!

This look was inspired by Ms. Bardot, of course - but also by poring over the technique charts provided by the lovely Beauty Professor on one of her LMdB posts and swatching/blending a gazillion different colour combinations to see what i could come up with; i swatched on my hands 'til there wasn't an inch of flesh left bare.
What i learned is that if i use a blend of traditional eyeshadow technique and placement along with the LMdB technique - sort of modifying it to suit my needs - the end result was ideal.  At least for me.

So - a couple close-ups, then i'll talk about which shades i used (and how i used them):

I ended up thickening the eyeliner a bit after seeing the closed-eye shot, actually - which is            why it looks too thin in here, compared to the rest of the photos

Obviously, this is hardly a muddy mess.  It's very nude, shimmery and pretty.  It even looks as though i put a slightly darker shade in my crease, but i assure you i did not.  It's just the way my eyes are shaped, i think - it casts a bit of a shadow under the bone.  
This time around, i  used three LMdB shadows and one Rouge Bunny Rouge shadow to achieve the overall nude, taupe-y, shimmery end result:

The first two shades used from the palette, Beige (#1) and Rose (#2) i applied one atop the other - pressing the pigment into the lid, right against the lash line with a medium laydown brush and blending upwards right up to the brow bone, packing most of the pigment near the lash line so by the time it was blended out to the lid, it gave a nice ombre effect.  I also used these on the lower lash line.  
The pic here is rather dismal, but the Beige is definitely leaning a bit warm, while the Rose is a pure pink shade.  
Next, i took Rouge Bunny Rouge Lilac Reef Curassow eyeshadow single and lightly dusted it over the entire eye area. 

                            Company photo - i'm too lazy to get the camera out again

Finally, i used the third shade in the palette - Mauve (#3) just against the lashes with a smudge brush, blending it out just a bit so there were no obvious lines.  

For the eyeliner, i used my Solone Smoody gel eyeliner pencil in Wine along the lower lash line and in the waterline, and on the top i used my trusty Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof pencil in Ebene.  

For the rest of the face, i've got on my Chantecaille New Stick foundation in Cream (my summer colour), buffed out to a sheer finish with my Hakuhodo foundation brush, and Rouge Bunny Rouge blush in Delicata.

On my lips is the quintessential Bardot shade, Belle du Jour by NARS
And, voila!   

                                           My Bardot Hair-Toss pose - sans the hair....

I do hope you all enjoyed today's post. This look, as i mentioned, is one of my favourites, and i hope you like it too!  


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