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Guest Post: Addicted to makeup

March 9, 2011
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L-A: We really don’t talk makeup enough. Considering what’s happening in my makeup bags and going sans mascara makes me feel like I’ve forgotten my pants, it’s something we should probably address.  Other than the time Ally had her eyebrow & red lip experiment at Haligonia, we haven’t told you much about our makeup habits. Which is why we were stoked that our favourite TV blogger Jill offered to share her makeup obsession with you.

Jill: I have an addiction. OK, I have more than one addiction – shoes, TV on DVD, thin crust pizza…but the addiction I’m writing about today is one that goes way back: Makeup.

I’ve loved makeup since I was a kid. My sister and I used to do makeovers on each other and smear red lipstick all over our faces. When I was in Junior High I started buying my own stuff. I loved everything from Bonne Bell Lip Smackers (I was a big fan of the Pink Lemonade flavor) to garish blue and green eye shadows. Looking back, I’m quite sure I looked like a mash up of a clown and a hooker from ages 12 through 14.

Over time I learned how to rein in my makeup application, but I’ll always be the kind of girl who doesn’t even want to take out the trash without mascara on. The thing is, makeup is fun. I love experimenting with new techniques and colors.

This means I have a monstrous makeup collection. It’s not that I need all this stuff, or even regularly use it all. Like I said, it’s an addiction.

What you see in that photo? That’s not even all of it. I have makeup squirreled away that I don’t like as much but refuse to part with, plus a whole box of unopened mascaras and blushes just waiting to be called in for duty.  If there’s a new mascara out, I want to try it. If there’s a lip gloss that claims to be long-lasting and shiny, I want in. If I ever have a nervous breakdown, you’ll see me on the show Hoarders, drowning in a sea of lipsticks. Case in point:

But I get that not everyone owns a mountain of cosmetics. So if you find the whole makeup thing a tad daunting, I have a few tips.

First of all, there are four lip products that every girl should have.

A great moisturizing lip balm, a sheer pink gloss, a shade of red that works for you and a nice neutral can go a long way. And if you absolutely will never wear red lipstick, then you only need three things!

A great way to kick off a makeup collection is by buying a set like one of these:

Sets like these are a great way to play with different colors without having to commit to buying, say, a $10 pot of blue eye shadow. If you hate how one shade looks on you, you still have 12 others to try out!

If you don’t really wear makeup but would like to incorporate a little into your everyday look, this is what I’d recommend starting with for a nice, natural look:

The eyelash curler looks terrifying but does wonders on almost everyone. Just curl your lashes, add a light swipe of mascara and you’re good to go. Concealer is another must have. For most people, especially those who aren’t into wearing a lot of makeup, a full face of foundation just isn’t necessary. But a few dabs of concealer can go a long way in minimizing dark circle under your eyes or blemishes. Finally, just a bit of a bronzer-type blush will really perk up your face. It’s important to choose one that works well with your skin tone. The one shown in this photo looks hideous in the compact but blends really well. Blending is key, so invest in a good brush. I really like ones from The Body Shop.

If you want to try a little more, I’d add some powder, eyeliner and eye shadow.

Make sure the powder you choose matches your complexion. Nothing is worse than going too light and looking like a geisha, or going too dark and looking like Snooki from the neck up. I’m a big fan of eyeliners that don’t have to be sharpened. I have naturally dark lashes so I’m addicted to black eyeliner, but brown is nice for a more subtle look, especially on those with fair complexions.

I love bronze shades of eye shadow. They look a little more modern than classic taupe shades, and work on every skin tone. Charlize Theron, Jessica Alba and Beyonce are all wearing gorgeous shades of bronzey-brown (yeah, I made up a name for a color) here:

Another look that works on everyone but is a little more risky is the classic red lip. It took me a long time to work up the confidence to wear red lipstick, but for a special occasion it can be really fun.

If you’re not ready to go full-on Gwen Stefani (the queen of the red lip) I suggest investing in a nice red lip gloss instead. You’ll get a similar but less drastic result.

Unless your name is Gwen Stefani, it’s a good idea to play up your lips or your eyes – not both. So if you’re not comfortable with a bold lip, you might want to try out a classic smoky eye for that fancy night out on the town. Kim Kardashian has mastered this look.

The three most important things to remember here? Blend, blend, and blend some more. I like to keep the shadow darkest in the crease of my eyelid, and go lighter on the inner corners like Kim has. And keep the lip very neutral.

Makeup should be fun, and one of my favorite celebrities to watch for fun, bold looks is bubblegum princess Katy Perry. Her bright eye shadow choices might not be for everyone, but I think every girl should rock a bright pink lip once in a while.

Unless you work at a really cool office, this look probably isn’t appropriate for the day. But seriously, you can’t wear lip color like that and not have a good time. I’m also really digging her cat eye, which leads me to my final favorite makeup look – retro.

You have to be careful with retro eye liner. I do not recommend trying this at home, folks:

Because before you know it, you could end up looking like this:

Luckily, Amy “Lives off Cigarettes and Jack Daniels” Winehouse isn’t the only retro glam British songstress. Adele does it much better.

Please forgive the unflattering facial expression in this photo, I believe she’s singing. If you don’t know Adele, do yourselves a favor and listen to her Tiny Desk concert at NPR. You’ll thank me. Adele keeps most of her look subtle with shimmery taupe shadow, a gorgeous rosy cheek and natural looking lips, so the focus is on her killer lashes. This look is all about the strong eye liner and heavy lash, and it is really fun to wear. If you’re good at liquid liner you can get great results with that, but I’m more comfortable with crayon-style liner. If you screw up, just dab a Q-tip in some eye makeup remover and try again. Curl your lashes (for really good results blow a hair drier on the eyelash curler for a few seconds beforehand) and apply a few coats of mascara, or if you really want to have fun you can experiment with false lashes. (Though keep those for special occasions. No one likes a girl wearing false eyelashes at a movie.)

One final tip from a lifelong makeup lover? Just have fun. There’s no need to blow tons of money on expensive items – there are products from Clinique and MAC that I love, but there are more products from Revlon, Rimmel and Maybelline that I love. Makeup is one of the least permanent ways to change up your look, so don’t be afraid to try something new – you can always just wash your face.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ivy permalink
    March 9, 2011 9:58 am

    Great post! Question: Do you know where I can find a good make-up case – in Halifax or online? I don’t have a lot of make-up but it seems to be scattered everywhere – on the dresser, inside bathroom drawers, walk-in closet counter, bedside table… I’m a neat freak but I’m also a “free gift with purchase” addict. You see my dilemma…

    • March 9, 2011 11:45 am

      I just bought a train case at Lawtons, and they had the same ones at Shoppers too. I needed a new one for a LONG time and scoured the Interwebs, but everything was either too expensive or had ridiculous shipping costs. I’m really happy with the one I ended up getting – it’s in the first photo.

      • Ivy permalink
        March 9, 2011 12:55 pm

        Awesome, thanks for the tip! Yeah, the ones I saw online were pretty pricey.

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