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Runway red-eye and flight paths.

July 12, 2011

In honor of my boy, who has been doing a lot of wretched early morning flights just to see me, let’s talk about two really striking beauty looks from the Fall 2011 shows…

The Double Wingtip

This is from Stephane Rolland‘s show….

While this is from Giorgio Armani.

When I first saw this look, I just gasped because it looked so beautiful to me… totally new and original. Basically, the top and lower lash lines are both winged out to the extreme, but separated to the point where they both run parallel… kind of like speed lines! How apt for double wings, huh? Notice also that the lower lash line is distanced noticeably enough from the drawn line. It’s totally hot but also terrifying. How the heck are us normal women supposed to pull that off? Are our hands really so steady? Our gazes really so confident that it could be pulled off? Sigh.

The Red-Eye

This is from Alexandre Vauthier

While this is from Nina Ricci.

What intrigues me here is the red eyeshadow. I know those words sound a bit frightening together, and it conjures up images of a scary Olsen twin, drugged out and sleepless…

But the runways make it look so pretty! I’d really like to give it a go. I have in the past tried a brick-like red, blended very well. But I must be more daring, surely?? Although I’ve worried about how red shadow will look on my darker skin, Rihanna has since convinced me otherwise:

Maybe this is the secret baby step to pulling off a strong red along my eyes — letting the shadow rim on my lower lash line. In my experience this is not going to last very long in terms of wear, but it certainly is pretty. Perhaps if I give some eyeshadow primer a go? Anyways.


Covetous want

July 8, 2011

I shake my fist at the heavens, because it is the season for sales!!

Nice… even if they’re not including the freaking unbelievably amazing Naked Palette (which I’m planning to hook onto with my reward points from Lexis Nexis legal), but this is totally up for grabs…

24/7 Jackpot Eye Pencils

I have heard that these are just amazing eyeliner pencils — super soft and unmovable once dried. Since my precious Stila Kajal in Smokey Quartz ended up on Stila’s Last Call page as of late, I’m worried that it’s being phased out and that I must start looking for alternatives. I had these Urban Decays in mind, or else MUFE’s Aqua Eyes pencils. But if these are on sale and come in * oh so many colors! * then I am helpless. It appeals to the OCD child I used to be, collecting all my Crayolas and arranging them neatly and perfectly. And also, I’m a firm believer that brightly colored eyeliners on a nearly-nude eye are the best way to look fashion-forward or party-ready in like ten seconds.

The other sale is from the good people at Tarte, heralding the 4th of July…

Contrary to the picture, this sale is actually going to last until Monday. I am realizing that Tarte is slowly taking over my makeup dresser… I’ve got Clean Slate as their excellent daily primer, two of their amazing lip tints (which I think fall into the gloss-balm category, the newest trend as per Michelle from, at least the original Lipsurgence line does), and their famous gel cheek stain in Blushing Bride. And I love them all and use them almost every day. Blushing Bride in particular is a revelation. Application takes some getting used to, but now that it’s summer it is so much of a better choice than my usual powder blushes. Keeps the dewey look going, you know?

I know, this looks dark and terrifying, but you’ve got to trust me. It’s just so perfect. Won’t come out purple or too dark, just a really lovely flush, like when you see a super cute guy for the first time. So you can get this, or hang around new super cute guys constantly. May I suggest visiting my dog’s vet? Totally blushworthy.

Anyways, what am I coveting from Tarte? Apart from wanting to indulge in those more recent line of matte Lipsurgence stains, because I’ve been looking for something that won’t overpower my recent Nars Caravaggio bright pink shadow purchase, I did get an email recently about this:

I know, I know! Such a fangirl!! So lame, I know, I’m almost embarrassed to admit this. But hell, look at how gorgeous that shade of red is…

Want. Totally.

Queen Helene feeds my retro-thing, kills the sebum factories in my pores.

July 4, 2011

Remember when you would watch a film or tv show set “back in the day,” and a requisite component of the “sorry but I’m washing my hair tonight” look involved the woman in some odd-green face mask? Which would necessarily terrify the small child or pet that would pass her by? I’m pretty convinced that green came from Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque. I mean, this is IT. Weird, pungent, clay like cream you smother all over your face till it’s a shocking green. If I remember my most-precious Crayola collection right, “sea green” is about the right shade… I’d never ever lend that color out unless you were my “best friend” of the week in kindergarten.

Kind of like this, without the cucumber.

I distinctly remember finding out about this product when I was doing a bit of research on clay masks. The intrigue from that started with a free sample from Lush, which has a ridiculous selection of clay masks at its shops (not on its site, since they can’t ship them, but they exist in the US I promise), but all of which require storage in the fridge and use within two weeks or so. I know me, I’ve got some shit in my fridge I’ve forgotten about for months on end, this wouldn’t work. But amongst my research, reviews over and over kept throwing their hands up with whatever mask they were talking about and saying that their Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask pretty much did a better job. What the heck was this thing??

I have the good fortune of having a Walgreen’s in my building lobby so I popped down to just have a look. Basically, this stuff is like $4. So why not?

And oh. my. god.

I have been using this stuff religiously now for about 7 months and I will tell you this much – I no longer have ANY problems with mid-day shine and oiliness. That stuff is like, gone. I don’t even carry blotting papers around in my purse anymore. It’s pretty much amazing. I use it maybe every 2 night or so, plop a thick smother on my face for ten minutes and watch a round of Criminal Minds until the next advert segment, wash it off (surprisingly easy, considering how thick this stuff is and how it really hardens like a mud stain would on your jeans), give my face a good, rough, dry with a facial washcloth, and just do everything else as is. And wow.

This is maybe the best reason I have to not pay worship at the altar of all-natural prods. Cos this shit works. And it’s got parabens. I mean, ok, Queen Helene has apparently been around for some 80+ years, back when the beauty industry didn’t really give a rat’s ass about the ingredients (See their frighteningly named Cholesterol Hair Conditioner). Today, nothing evil is a selling point. But really, Queen Helene has been the first of a few recent products that I’ve discovered which are touted by a lot of bloggers and magazines as cult products (MoroccanOil, Embryolisse) but which contain the same ingredients which those people decry (silicones for hair, mineral oil for skin). So now I take those warnings with a grain of salt, and without any blind adherence. As for Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Mask, we’ve more crucially got Kaolin, Sulfur, and Zinc — three magic zip-zapping ingredients of legend, all in one product. Screw the parabens, I’ve got these bad boys. And they do work for zits — when I feel zit impending, a good layer of this stuff followed by a dose of Keihl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment will help keep it from volcanic eruption nine times out of ten. I’ve also read people saying that sleeping on a spot with a huge dab of the Queen Helene on top also does something awesome, though I’ve yet to try.

I’m not going to lie, as fantastic as this shit is, I get bored easily. And I’m already thinking of giving Clark’s Intense Radiance Mask as a classy upgrade. But maybe this is just frolic? It’s nice to know the Mint Julep’s there to come back home to.

So I know I’ve been away

July 1, 2011

When my family comes, my life turns into what I call “a shitshow.” So I apologize, AboutFace-land. Until fairly recently my life had consisted of fighting with my brother or dad, accompanying my mom everywhere, making reservations or giving directions or finding bathrooms or going to church.

But my mind has been plotting a plethora of future posts, featuring Bumble & Bumble’s NY salon, thoughts on tightlining/waterlining, summer beauty needs, L’Occitane’s foray into color cosmetics, body scrubs, and a couple of product reviews. In the meantime, here’s some easy beauty-related reading from the NYT…

Drugs are bad, mmmkay? Apparently, vanity itself provides a reason as to why you should avoid cocaine. You know, if the whole illegal-extremely unhealthy-addictive-money draining aspect of it wasn’t enough.
A disappointing Room for Debate discussion on the advent of bold and different nail polish colors, especially in the work setting. Really guys, you haven’t got anything else better to talk about? None of the discussions are particularly riveting either, although as per me, I enjoyed the little history background stories about the origin of nail polish and nail care as a requisite part of today’s beauty regime (and as I type, I see what Reese Witherspoon described in “Legally Blonde” as my own “bony, unpolished fingers… ugh!”)
A profile of Leslie Blodgett of Bare Escentuals, and an interesting story. Am curious as to how many women out there have tried and stuck with the mineral powder foundation. As in, use it faithfully. You always read that their are “legions” or so, but I’ve only ever met one personally who has kept on using it over the years. Everyone seems to have switched.
Finally, an amusing article about the feather extensions trend and the chagrin it’s earned from the fly fishing scene. Beware the ires of Maine, Ke$ha!

Nars in New York

May 31, 2011

I’m in NYC right now for la familia, but I’m hoping to make a few pretty stops.

The NYT wrote about Francois Nars’ new boutique in NYC, which I really want to check out. He sounds like a nice, low-key guy. In terms of presence in my makeup collection, Nars battles Tarte for the number one spot. What can I say? The eyeshadows in particular look like perfectly paired jewels… every foray to the testers stand brings me the childlike delight of “which one shall I have?!?!” They sometimes seem a little wtf if you picture it on your eyes, because some of the color combinations are so bright and unconventional, but once you give it a go you’ll realize just how brilliant those folks at Nars are. The color combinations are deliberate choices and will blend to suit each other beautifully. Just trust them. Bright pink and bright purple, aka Caravaggio, WILL work and you won’t like a Jem and the Holograms reject. Promise.

Although Jem is pretty awesome, though! So maybe it wouldn’t be too bad should you go a bit overboard.

Then as for the combos which look a little more traditional at first sight, there’s always some sort of twist to them to make them unusual. A good example is from the current Summer 2011 collection,the Dogon eyeshadow pairing:

Nars Dogon Eyeshadow at

You can’t possibly tell from the package, but the taupe’s got a nice frosty green sheen to it once seen from a certain angle. The London Beauty Review did a rave review, and has a lot of helpful pictures to give you a better sense of the whole wonder behind it. It was so beautiful applied on her! Here’s a swatch to illustrate my point though:

Isn’t it dreamy?

As for the other products, let’s see. Well everyone has heard of their blushes, especially the peachy-pink with a touch of shimmer Orgasm blush, which you’d love to hate but couldn’t possibly because it really does look so freaking good. Although to be honest I’ve been enjoying the matte and straightforward dark rose blush of Dolce Vita much more over the fall, as shimmer always seems a little too teenagery when worn out-of-context. It’s a bit tricky, but when applied right it’s very much me-only-better.

Nars blush in Dolce Vita

I’m tempted to say their foundation is outstanding, but I could only say this from my beloved Gel Fraicheur foundation from years ago which has been discontinued for a while, but was my HG foundation for a good long time. I’m too upset to foray into their other foundations offerings, I’m still a grieving widow. The Multiple sticks and illuminators are also permanently on best-of lists, so that’s worth having a look at if you’re into multi-purpose prods. Hopefully after my little pilgrimage, I shall grab a haul worthy of a juicy post. Will let you know.

beauty in the celeb-o-sphere

May 24, 2011

I’ve had Emanuelle Alt’s first Paris Vogue on my coffee table for a few weeks now, waiting for me to pick it up and peruse. Now that law school’s pretty much over and my bar review has yet to begin, I have begun. The first thing I noticed was this ad:

Blake Lively advertising Chanel.

I know, I know, Blake Lively again… but I cannot help it! At least she is still blonde here. If you can find a zoomed in picture of her in this particular ad or a version of it in print, check it out because there is something off about her eye makeup, which this picture cannot demonstrate that well. Specifically, check out her doing that “add a bit of white shimmer to the inner corner of your eye” trick. Because she is manifesting what I think is my worst fear about that trick: looking like you’ve got that eye-sand that you get first thing in the morning instead. A friend recently bought me Cargo’s Eyelighter and I’m still on the learning curve on how to use it without looking like I just woke up. Sigh. I know it’s a good trick, I’ve SEEN people pull it off. I can sort of do it without precision, highlighting the corner area rather than the corner specifically (using Fresh’s Satin Luster Face Palette for my general highlighting needs). But for something more sophisticated, and getting just that inner corner highlighted enough to make my eyes appear larger or more awake, I need practice.

Taylor Swift, normally.

So Swifty is the epitome of the beauty rut. Don’t get me wrong, she’s super pretty and her look suits her. But it never, ever changes! Black cat-eye liquid liner on an otherwise pretty clean eye, perfect skin with a liiiiiiiight pink blush (not a typo), and a glossy lip which will turn old-Hollywood red for the more formal event, and those perfect ringlets. But then, this popped up on the internets today!

Taylor Swift at the Billboard Music Awards

She looks so nice with hair that’s a little straighter! She’s toned down the curls to a wave, and did a sidesweep. Gorgeous! And more grown up, which she damn well needs. She’s in her twenties now, after all. And check it out! A vibrant, matte fuschia lip! I’m loving it. There’s the courage, right there. Brava! Now if only she went a little deeper with her smokey eyeshadow, I’d be perfectly happy. But this is already such a giant leap for Taylorkind, so good on her.

Beyonce at Oprah’s farewell celebration episode, part 1

Oprah ending is kindofabigdeal in my house right now. My mom and my aunt are super excited (the latter actually having been in the audience!) and mom has made it abundantly clear that she owns the tv at 11 every night. Honestly it is reallyabigdeal anyway so I don’t mind. Beyonce was being her usual fabulous self, dancing in those five inch stilettos to her new single, and I am in my usual mix of envy and awe, when I realize how gorgeous this woman’s legs look. Check it! It’s toned (is she using some sort of bronzer?), a mile long, and the skin is just unnaturally smooth looking and flawless. Practically glowing.

It’s a long-awaited sunny day here in Chicago today, and I took it as a chance to bust out a sundress. And I do not have anything near those legs. While the height is not something I can do anything about, I would really like to at least have my legs look like the skin’s smooth and even-colored. Right now, I’m dealing with scarring from old mosquito bites, and the unmarked parts are paler than the rest of me. Very far from glowing. I don’t really know what my options are for my legs, so if you have any suggestions I’d appreciate it mucho in the comments. Oh, and I do moisturize daily so…. I need more hardcore advice, please! I want them glowing…

Product review: Stila Kajal Eyeliner

May 23, 2011

Why, hello there.

Stila Kajal Liner in Smokey Quartz, aka grey.

I kind of have a crush on you. I mean, check you out. You’re all soft. Buttery soft. Silky soft. And I’m sensitive. You know, not just on the inside, but on the eye-side. You know I had that shitty problem last year getting used to contacts, and I still feel like sometimes that those boys give me a harder time than I deserved. But you so softly, softly, traced your mark on my sensitive waterline, and left no hurt, only a mark which stays with me all day, something no other eyeliner has been able to do without making me cry. I swear, after just ten seconds with you, and I look at the mirror and smile. You’re amazing, and so are my eyes in the most natural looking way. And then sometimes you do a 180 and render the sexiest mist on my eyes, with the help of your buddy the fatty shorty smudge-brush. Really smokey or controlled smokey, it’s all pretty hot. It’s so sweet that you get your friends to help you give me presents.

And you’re honest too. How often does that happen in our world? You’re not kohl, you don’t claim to be kohl, and hell you don’t want to be kohl. You’re you, and you’re good. With you, I’ve realized that the Guerlain Kohl Crayon that I so dream of but can never find, well maybe life has other plans for me… that is, you. And that’s wonderful too. Sigh! You ground me.

I know you’re not perfect. If I doze off wearing you, you will certainly smudge…. and I do love my naps. Oh, and I need to whip you into shape through the sharpener more often than anything else on my dresser, maybe once a week. Finally, you seem to treat me like a walking wallet sometimes, with that freaking $18 I need to lay down to hang out with you. But that doesn’t matter I guess, because no relationship is perfect, right? Besides, this awesome Stila 20% friends and family discount good until Tuesday makes it better. In fact, it even makes me think you might be just as into me as I am into you.

Bisous, my kajal love. Can’t wait to pick you up in Tiger’s Eye tomorrow.