I love the drama of strongly made-up eyes and lips. I think they create an equilibrium, ensuring that although your makeup is strong, dark and dramatic, the eyes and the lips balance each other out.
As I was headed out (to my brother's rehearsal dinner) I wanted soft plum makeup to go with the black black dress I was wearing. I love black and plum together, to me they're the colours of a late 19th century tragic romance (which had nothing to do with my brother's upcoming nuptials - I just wanted to wear them!)
Clockwise from top left:
Boots eyelash curlers; Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation in Porcelain; Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla; Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Desirée (shade 327); Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon crayon in Dark Pearl; Maybelline Master Smoky eyeliner in Smoky Black; Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in Black-Brown; Maybelline The Volum' Express mascara in Black Waterproof; Benefit High Beam; L'Oréal Glam Bronze in Blonde Sun (shade 00); Ecotools blush brush.
After applying a light layer of foundation with my fingers, I liberally patted on concealer under my eyes, taking it down onto the tops of my cheeks, around my nose and mouth, and on any imperfections. With plum, purple or red shades it's particularly important to conceal redness because it can look ruddy against the warmth of the makeup.
After giving my lashes a quick curl I went in with the Charlotte Tilbury crayon, scribbling it over my eyelids and giving it a smudge with fingers. I took it up onto the crease a little to give a bit of depth but was wary of creating too strong a contrast against my skin that could make me look washed out in photos. I added a little below the lashline to help my eyes look wider. I love how this shade really emphasises the colour of my eyes.
I added a soft line of Maybelline Master on my top lashline and two coats of mascara, focusing on the outer and middle lashes to emphasise the almond shape of my eyes.
This was a simple case of sketching in extra hairs, starting from the arch and following my brow's natural shape. With strong makeup sparse brows like mine need a bit of help. A stronger brow balances out a smoky eye or a strong lip and draws attention towards the eyes.
Highlight and contour:
I applied High Beam to the tops of my cheekbones, following them round to the side of my face. I dabbed a little underneath the outer edge of my brows and in the inner corners of my eyes to give a bright-eyed, lit-from-within glow. High Beam's soft pink iridescence is perfect for pale, cool-toned complexions and a it's product I come back to often.
Using the Ecotools brush I sweeped bronzer onto the sides of my face just underneath my cheeks, and under my jaw and around my hairline. If your makeup creates a high contrast between the shades you're using and your skin tone, like this look does for me, then bronzer is a great way to bridge that gap while giving your face a more sculpted look. I find bronzer indispensable if I'm having my photo taken - it gives the impression of stronger cheekbones and jawline and counteracts the ghostly pallor my skin can take on when photographed in bright sunlight or with flash.
I applied two light coats of lipstick straight from the bullet onto moisturised lips, blotting in between applications. The shade I'm wearing looks dark in the bullet but is actually more of a deep plummy pink once it's on my lips.
I'm pleased with how it turned out. I think I could have gone for even more lipstick and eyeliner, although that might take away some of the softness of the look.
Please excuse my hair in these photos. After I took them I attempted a sort of quiff-meets-Pollyanna up-do, but since my hair had been washed that morning it didn't have enough texture to create for it. I went for a hair-down, slightly messy look instead. Sadly the only picture I found of me out was part of a group photo - cropping myself out proved futile because the image ended up so small. Sorry I can't show you the dress, hair and makeup all together!
What do you think of my makeup? Let me know in the comments!