Thursday, September 13, 2012

That "Hollywood Glow" and a Mini-Rant

When I do a makeup look on here, nine times out of ten, it's because when I finished putting on my makeup for the day, I looked in the mirror and thought, "Well, I'll be! That doesn't suck!" My thinking is if I can do it, anyone can do it. Sometimes, we all need a little inspiration, or maybe we're looking for that one "holy grail" product, or possibly just need reassurance that yes, you can wear cranberry eyeshadow and not look like you have an affliction. That said, ten times out of ten, I'm fighting crappy lighting and a cell phone camera to take these horrible pictures that don't do justice to the in-person look. Occasionally, the lighting is perfect and the camera is still, the stars align and the angels sing, and I can get a darn near decent picture. Other times, like today, I have to throw in the towel. And I could just cry...

See, as I've said a gazillion times, I'm not a pro. I'm a theatre and film actress, which does involve a whole lotta makeup, so I have years and years and years of on-the-job experience, but no real training. Every now and then, I'll have a breakthrough that I'm sure is nothing new to anyone else, but it's new to me, and sends me bouncing up to the rafters. Today was one of those days, and I can't get a good picture to save my life. ARGH! You know that lit-from-within "Hollywood glow" you see on celebrities like Emma Stone and Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet, but never on Suzy-Q at the mall? Well, I cracked it, and it's awesome and super easy, and I have no photographic evidence.

Of course, that doesn't mean I can't tell you how I did it. You know, in case you don't already have your own routine.

Alrighty, I started off with a brightening serum. I used the Ole Henriksen that came in my Glossybox, but any brightening serum would do, or you could use a brightening primer, like Benefit That Gal. Then, I prepped my undereye area with a brightening (you can see where this is going) eye cream. I used Super by Perricone, but again, that's just a suggestion, and there are oodles of other, less expensive creams that can work just as well. This is just what I had lying around. Just make sure that whatever you choose is for brightening. Once the skin is prepped, apply a dewy foundation. I chose Too Faced Beauty Balm, but MAC Studio Sculpt would be another good choice, depending on how much coverage you need. You don't want your foundation to be glittery or oily looking, but you don't want a matte or demi-matte finish.

Next, I moved on to the eyes. I primed with Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden because it matches my skin tone well, and I didn't want to cover my entire eye area with shadow. This allows the un-shaded areas to blend with the shaded. Then, I grabbed my Urban Decay Vegan Palette for all of the colors I needed for this eye look, including liner. Using a flat brush, I patted Urb (a glittery, pale green--discontinued, sadly, but Mildew with a light hand would be close) onto my lids. Then, using a slightly fluffier shadow brush, added Half Baked (mettalic gold) to the area directly above the crease. Smog (shimmery copper bronze) went into the actual crease, with the outer corner blending down into the lash line. I deepened the crease with a little Twice Baked (deep chocolate brown shimmer). I then ran a thick line of Smog along the lower lash line, and darkened it by running Twice Baked from the outer corner to about the halfway point. Then just blend, blend, blend, blend, blend. Finish by lining the upper lash line with 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Zero, and winging the outer corner slightly, then adding just a bit into the very outer corner of the lower lash line. Here's a lousy picture:

What you end up with is a neutral smoky eye with a pop of color and a pretty gleam. This is great for day, but could easily be darkened up for evening.

Moving on! I used Maybelline Age Rewind concealer in Neutralizer (I'm that pale, y'all) to cover any redness and blemishes. This does brighten up my skin, but feel free to use your fave brightening concealer. Benefit Erase Paste is awesome if you can find your shade. After that, I used Rimmel Stay Matte setting powder (I know! Matte?!) and pressed it into the skin with a buffing brush. Basically, I just wanted to set the powder and knock off a little bit of the shine. It won't completely matte out your skin, but it will keep you from looking like a disco ball. Plus, we're not done with the "glow" yet, anyway.

Next, I filled in my brows with a matching shadow from the E.L.F. Brow Kit, and added mascara to top and bottom lashes (I like Buxom, but whatever you've got will work). Then, I took Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzer and dusted the tops of my cheeks, bridge of my nose, chin, and hairline. This is a light bronzer with some shimmer (not glitter), and it's really the key to the lit-from-within look we're going for. After that, I took a bright rose pink blush (Stila, discontinued) and a lighter baby pink blush (also Stila, also discontinued, but check out NYX in Rose Garden to kill two birds) that both contained just enough of a sheen to keep from being matte (think: satin) and blended them onto the apples of my cheeks, blending outward across the cheekbone. Benefit Watt's Up highlighter (and really, I'm just going to flat out recommend this--it's gorgeous) went into the inner corners of my eyes, across the brow bones, and onto the cheekbones. I finished off the look with Rimmel lipstick in Crush--a creamy, coral-y nude with a luminous sheen--applied over a lip balm (Fresh Sugar, but again, whatevs).  Here's another lousy picture:

If you have MAC Shy Girl or NYX Pumpkin Pie, then you have this color. They're all pretty much identical.

I didn't line it because I didn't want any harsh lines for this look. Also, I'm lazy and needed to get out the door.

It seems like a lot of steps and products, but really, this only took a few minutes, and...well, yeah, there are a lot of products. Not going to argue with you there. Still, it was surprisingly easy and quick to apply this look, and I have been positively giddy with the results. I hope this helps you guys, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Oh! If this works for you, let me know in the comments! Also, you've probably noticed there are no links. That's because you can either use whatever you have that is similar, or you can find these products readily at Sephora, Ulta,, or your favorite brick and mortar drugstore (except the discontinued stuff...whoops).

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