When I first started getting into makeup in 5th grade, I was horrified to discover that my mom’s makeup collection consisted of the pale blue eyeshadow and shellac-like red lipstick that she wore at her wedding in the 70s. Since then I’ve coveted and collected makeup, and spent many late nights getting lost in the cavernous niche of YouTube that is beauty tutorials. The thing is, I love to try out daring makeup looks, but unless it’s a costume party or New Year’s Eve I’m never brave enough to wear favorites like fake eyelashes or glitter lipstick out; in the words of Ludacris, I’m a lady in the street but a freak in the bathroom. My usual makeup routine is as follows: minimize any eruptions, curl my eyelashes, swipe on some mascara, and avoid mirrors. This week, my goal is to find that balance between fresh-faced and drag queen—to feel confident while putting my boldest face forward.
Day One: Ice Princess
Inspiration: The weathermen have been promising a snow-pocalypse all week, but I woke up this morning to slush. If I don’t get a winter wonderland outside, I might as well make it snow on my face.
I Dared Myself: I concealed blemishes with Clinique Super-Balanced Makeup in Alabaster then started on the eyes with Maybelline Vanilla Soft Pearl eyeshadow all over the eyelid. I worked light blue Jane eyeshadow into the crease and lined the lower lid with a white liner pencil. I defined the top lash line with Almay Liquid Eyeliner in Black Pearl and dusted Sephora glitter over the white eyeshadow above and below the eyes. I gave the cheekbones a “just came in from the cold” blush with NARS Rivera blush stick and highlighted the cheekbones with shimmer powder. It might be an unconventional beauty choice, but I finished the look with Burt’s Bees Lifeguard’s Choice sunscreen lip balm for a frosted lip.
Where I Dared: I took my snowy look to drop off my hiking backpack at an outdoorsy repair store. The irony of my snow bunny look in that setting was lost on the boots-and-parkas-clad staff, but not on me. I teach yoga in the evenings, and I’ll admit that I toned the look down for class. Something about a face full of glitter and inner peace doesn’t mix.
Day Two: Pin-Up
Inspiration: I’ve always wanted to do a retro pin-up look, especially the seductively full and arched eyebrows. A lot of rockabilly ladies in Portland (where I live) wear this look, so I’ll probably fit right in.
I Dared Myself: I evened out my skin with bareMinerals foundation in Fairly Light. Before getting started on my eye makeup, I applied fake lashes first (a must for retro looks) so that I wouldn’t mess up everything with the glue. Then I covered the whole eyelid in Clinique butter pecan shadow and worked Lancome mochacinno eyeshadow into the crease. I drew on a thin cat eye with Sephora blackest black liquid eyeliner and gave my already dark brows a very dramatic shape with Revlon brown black liquid eyeliner. I swept Lancome rose ivoire blush onto the apples of my cheeks and rounded my lips with a cherry red Amor Amor lip gloss.
Where I Dared: I swear this fifties makeup went to my head—I borrowed some cinnamon from the family next door to bake chocolate chip peanut butter banana bread, making me feel more I Love Lucy than Bettie Paige. Their kids seemed pretty fascinated by my fake lashes.
Day Three: Dark Lip
Inspiration: Remember those girls in high school who wore their angst on their lips? I was so jealous of the fact they were brave enough to snarl through the halls in black lipstick. I’m considering this my last chance to try a vampy dark lip, but I’m going to make it a bit softer to take the topic out of this hot look.
I Dared Myself: Starting with a moisturized and blemish-controled face, I kept the foundation light (I didn’t want it to be too harsh against the dark lips.) I created a delicate look on the eyes, applying Revlon Iced Spice wet/dry eyeshadow to the whole lid and creating some depth with Girlactik eyeshadow in Penny. I gave the eyes a glossy look by dusting some Hollywood Lights King Midas loose pearl powder into the inner corners of my eyes and on the brow bone. I can’t afford an awesome dark lipstick like Tom Ford Black Orchid, so I mixed an old Manic Panic black lipstick with brownish, pink, and red lipsticks to achieve this rich merlot.
Where I Dared: I was so much more into this look than I thought I’d be—I spent an embarassing amount of time vogueing in the mirror until my mom said I looked like a zombie and my boyfriend said I looked like Klaus Nomi. Whatever, I felt cooler than I ever did in high school when I wore this look out to a bar. I’m surprised they even let a tough customer like me through the door…
Day Four: Smoky Eye
Inspiration: In all of my time as a makeup-wearer, I have never even attempted the smoky eye. I guess I've seen too many women with racoon eyes. Oh well, this challenge is called Be Daring for a reason…
I Dared Myself: I started by applying Lancome Mochacinno matte eyeshadow on the eyelid up to the crease. I smudged bareMinerals liner shadow in Retro from the lash shine in a gradient almost up to the crease, and smudged a little underneath the eye. I used a black Revlon eyeliner pencil to define the eyes above and in the water line, then applied a million coats of mascara to my lashes. I kept the lips nude with just a sheer pink lip gloss from Gap.
Where I Dared: I have so much more respect for the ladies I see wearing a smoky eye on a regular basis—when I was finally done blending and smudging, I ended up with as much eyeshadow all over my face as I would normally wear on my eyes. It was worth it, though—I credit this high-drama look for giving me the boost I needed to perform Lil’ Kim karaoke with my friends.
Day Five: Golden Girl
Inspiration: Today I’m entering a pie bake-off. I'm nervous because the crust is behaving badly and I took some risks on the berry filling, so I’m wearing a gold eye makeup look in the hopes it will inspire the judges to give me the first place trophy.
I Dared Myself: I applied bright yellow MAC eyeshadow up to the crease to intensify the gold color. Over that I blended Ben Nye Gold pearl sheen powder and Hollywood Lights King Midas loose powder. I used MAC All That Glitters bronze eyeshadow on the outer V to make the gold pop and dusted Ben Nye blush in Persimmon on my cheeks. I finished the look with MAC Petting Pink tinted lip balm.
Where I Dared: So, I didn’t win the contest. Not even runner-up. But this bright and shiny look wasn’t all for naught, because as I was leaving the competition (empty-handed but full-stomached) the sun came out from behind the clouds and there was actually a blue sky!