I have to tell you, I have been having a BLAST creating different looks and playing with products that I already have (versus getting sucked into the never-ending *new-New-NEW!!* vortex) – it has been the absolute best solution I’ve found to control my shopping tendencies and appreciate what I own rather than the lust-buy-forget-repeat cycle I’ve been guilty of in the past. I’m not knocking picking up new and pretty things – goodness knows there’s a (great!!) time and place for that, and I still am buying more makeup than I’ll ever need – but I also get fed up with myself when I go out and pick up new products before giving the ones I own proper love. It totally suits my new mentality of making sure everything I have is awesome and that’s it’s getting semi-regular attention. Anything that’s not floating the Latoya boat is getting booted. End of story.
Anyway, I’ve been experimenting a lot lately – way more than I have for YEARS, maybe since I was in university – and it’s amazing the combinations and shades you can come up with when you put your mind to it! I find I was forgetting the whole reason I started the blog, which was because I loved USING makeup, not just acquiring it, and I’ve been pushing myself out of the box and trying new looks and realizing I have some pretty awesome products!! Does anyone remember the Canadian cooking show ‘The Urban Peasant?’ He used to always say “Use what you got,” and dammit if I’m not following his lead ;P
Good grief I’m chatty.
Ok, onwards to the looks! I wanted to do 3 different Summer-themed looks to cover each of the main focal points of the face – cheeks, lips and eyes. I’ve sort of started following a general rule of thumb when it comes to wearing what kind of looks when: I often wear a bolder lip to work, because hey! – I’m not kissing anyone there, and reapplication at my desk is easy-peasy; a strong eye when going ‘out’ somewhere; and a defined cheek for more laid-back kind of days, as it makes me look polished but isn’t too much and doesn’t require any maintenance. Of course, any of these combinations can be worn at any time, and you could even pair two of them together for a whole different look, but for the purpose of this post I’m going to give distinction between them.
Look #1 – Focus on Cheeks:
In my first look, I focused on an all-over bronzed glow combined with a more flushed cheek to enhance. This is a super-quick and easy way to wear makeup in the Summer months, as it just builds upon the warmth the sun naturally bestows upon the skin. If I’m going for a more casual look, this is usually what I lean toward. The products I used are below.
And the resulting look!:
Capturing the strength of cheek products is tricky; it seems like you need to go more heavy-handed than you normally would in order to get the same effect you’d see in person. While I wasn’t sporting ‘clown-cheeks’ to be sure, my blush was more noticeable in real life, and I actually quite liked it! By using Milani’s Sunset Beach (the bronze side) as bronzer and then a bit extra under the cheekbones to contour, NARS South Beach to highlight on top of cheekbones (then blended out toward temples and any residual down the bridge of my nose), and Illamasqua Tweak on the higher point of the apples of my cheeks to emphasize (and blending like crazy to avoid any harsh edges), it just looked like I had been out in the sun all day. Pretty natural actually with just a touch of glam from the highlight. To finish I dabbed on MAC’s Crosswires lippie as a stain, and added a touch of clear gloss to give a bit of shine.
Look #2 – Focus on Lips:
My next look took me more out of my comfort zone, as I VERY rarely wear pigmented lip colors plus a glossy finish – a matte bold lip is much more subdued and easier to pull off in most cases. But I had an inspiration from my lookbook (a photo album full of looks I’ve clipped out of magazines) that came to mind and I really wanted to try it. In it, the model is wearing a rich coral-red lip that has this insane glossy shine to it, while the rest of the makeup is very subtle with just a beachy glow. As my lip collection is sort of in transition, I didn’t have the exact shade I was looking for, so I had to get creative:
Clockwise from left: Estee Lauder Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands, theBalm Read My Lips Lipstick in Wanted, Sephora She Sparkles lipgloss, MAC Lychee Luxe Lipglass, Ojon Restorative Mascara
By combining a shiny red lip color with a coral gloss and adding extra gloss on top of that, I came close to what I was aiming for – and even though it wasn’t exactly the same, I think it ended up being relatively flattering! I’d never tried theBalm lip product before, hadn’t even swatched it, but it popped into my head and I figured now was the time to try it out. MAC’s Lychee Luxe is one of my fave shades of gloss (though truth be told I don’t think I’ll buy any more MAC glosses – I’m SO over the sticky texture!), and the pinky-coral tone kept the red from being too cool and Christmas-y looking. Plus the gold shimmer of Sephora’s She Sparkles gave it a Summery kick, and that extra dose of shiny I was going for. By keeping the rest of my makeup extremely simple, the bright glossiness of the lips didn’t seem so obnoxious.
Look #3 – Focus on Eyes:
Lastly, I wanted to showcase a Summer look for eyes. I do tend to wear more eye makeup than anything else, though this is subtly changing over the past few months – I’m trying to break out of the same old of bold eyes and muted cheeks/lips. For this look, I pushed myself again to play and experiment more than normal, which actually was quite easy once I determined what shade was going to anchor my look – Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream #24, the bold canary yellow I reviewed last week! After choosing a bright shade like that, everything else seemed easy in comparison
Clockwise from left: MAC Arena eyeshadow, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #24, Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Florita, Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in Black Honey, Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Perversion, Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara, Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B, MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass
Left to right: Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #24, Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B, Urban Decay Last Call eyeshadow, Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in Black Honey, Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Perversion, Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Florita, MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass
Here’s how I made it work:
Above – Sunlight; Below – With flashI applied MUFE Aqua Cream #24 all over the lid, then applied Ardene 8B to the middle of the lid outward. I added UD’s Last Call to the outer lid and crease, and highlighted the brow and the inner corners of the eye with MAC’s Arena. Finally I lined the upper lash line with UD’s Perversion liquid liner, and the bottom lash line with Clinique’s Black Honey, and piled on a generous dose of mascara on top and bottom lashes.
As I mentioned in the review, this vibrant matte yellow Aqua Cream is surprizingly easy to use – easy to work with, easy to blend, and didn’t look as garish as I thought it would once applied. I absolutely ADORED how this look came out overall, it felt SO Summery and warm and fun, and I can see myself recreating this over and over this season, because it was an easy way to inject some color into my palette without being too over the top. And it got me using another shade that never gets love from me – the Ardene shadow, which by the way has a lovely buttery texture and is probably like $3 at the store.
Also, I can’t deal with how great Florita looked with this combination – it gives the perfect amount of glow for the Summer without being shimmery, which would also compete with the shadows. Finishing with the pale pink MAC gloss added just the right touch of glossiness and muted quality to my lips to compliment the look best.
All in all, though I think the last look was my favorite out of the three (typical!), I’m going to make every effort to rotate between a focus on eyes, lips and cheeks and continue to experiment with different looks and play with lesser-used shades in order to have more fun with makeup, and be more mindful of what I already own. I SO enjoyed creating these looks over the past couple weeks, and I truly hope you got some benefit out of them as well! Its nice to showcase and talk about other products that aren’t brand-spanking new or the most talked-about in the blogosphere. Sometimes I find I get so saturated with the same old, that when I stumble upon posts that discuss makeup I haven’t heard/thought of, it’s like a breath of fresh air!
…and now I’m done. Thanks for sticking through this if you made it this far! Hope you enjoyed!!