"The most beautiful makeup for a woman is passion, but cosmetics are easier to buy."
                                                                                              —Yves Saint Laurent

If you're new to this blog, then read our guides to the basics: Skin (Part I), Skin (Part II), The Supernatural, Color Theory I, Color Theory II, Eyes, and Brushes.

Also, check out the blogsale.

· Beauty Notes: What Works For Me

Art Tattler
the glamourai
The Non-Blonde
Perfume Shrine
Lisa Eldridge
Garance Doré
Smitten Kitchen
Into The Gloss
Grain de Musc
Res Pulchrae
Drivel About Frivol
The Selfish Seamstress
Killer Colours
Bois de Jasmin
Glossed In Translation
Jak and Jil
Toto Kaelo
Worship at the House of Blues
I Smell Therefore I Am
Food Wishes
The Natural Haven
Messy Wands
1000 Fragrances
Moving Image Source
The Emperor's Old Clothes
M. Guerlain
Colin's Beauty Pages
Barney's jewelry department
loodie loodie loodie
The Straight Dope
Sea of Shoes
London Makeup Girl
Sakecat's Scent Project
Asian Models
Ratzilla Cosme
Smart Skincare
Illustrated Obscurity
A.V. Club
Tom & Lorenzo: Mad Style
Eiderdown Press
Beauty and the Bullshit
La Garçonne
Flame Warriors
Everyday Beauty
Fashion Gone Rogue
Now Smell This
The Cut
A Fevered Dictation
Nathan Branch
101 Cookbooks

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Beauty Notes: What Works For Me
by Dorothy

Comparisons were made, at one time.

My experiences with cosmetics have been largely determined by my "non-standard" colouring and facial features. I don't wish to overstate this: obviously, the North American beauty market caters to white women like me far, far more than it does to other women. However, I was a redhead as a child, and even though my hair has darkened, I still have freckles, green eyes, and a very pale, peach-toned complexion. The advice doled out in magazines often does not apply to me. I didn't find a red lipstick I could wear until I was 25, and that required going to a MAC counter and watching one sales associate's frustration mount as tester after tester turned fuchsia or purple on my skin. She finally handed me off to another SA, who tried another five or six before finding two that worked (Rage and Chili, if you're curious). I continue to spend much of my life avoiding the dreaded fuchsia.

Exciting to some, horrifying to others.

I am, in other words, not a blank canvas. I have fairly definite, high-contrast colouring and defined features: a high forehead, a long nose, high cheekbones, a slight figure, and wavy, cowlicky hair. I feel generally more comfortable with retro-influenced styles than wholly modern ones: anything blingy, beachy, sporty or vampy makes me look ridiculous.


It's a shame Besame's Soufflé Foundation was discontinued, because it makes a great concealer.

I distinctly remember being five years old, looking in the bathroom mirror and appreciating the pretty mauve colour of my undereye circles. They are permanent, hereditary fixtures on my face. I put on undereye concealer before applying any other makeup. I follow that up with eyebrow pencil; my eyebrows are naturally quite well shaped, but a bit sparse.

I don't own a foundation. I don't really know how to use one, and anyway, I don't think most women need it for every day. I do have very shiny skin, exacerbated by my near-daily application of sunscreen (it should be daily, but I get lazy), so I use translucent powder, which blurs the imperfections on my face without looking too much like paint.

I've grown to appreciate the value of bright (not sparkly!) blush, probably because my skin is less naturally rosy at 27 than it was at 17. Pink blush looks like rosacea on me; peaches and corals are much more flattering. I don't know how to contour, but then I don't particularly need to.

P.S. Sparkly blush looks stupid.


I'm in a bit of a rut, I admit, but I love the look of gel eyeliner; I'm also wary of heavy eye makeup, since nothing telegraphs PARTY TIME to the same extent. I usually stick to a wash of neutral shadow (my favourite is NARS Cairo, a taupe with a hint of rose) and gel liner in brown or plum.

Women with green eyes are frequently advised to wear purple shadow. This isn't foolproof; any colour that is too dark will look like a smudgy grey-black on my skin, and any colour with red in it has to be chosen carefully so I don't end up emphasizing my dark circles or giving myself the "pinkeye" look. I have to experiment. I find that I keep accumulating turquoise and green shadows, even though I generally don't wear them because I'm afraid of looking frivolous. (I am frivolous, but must everyone know?)


I am obsessed. It is kind of ridiculous, and clearly a left-over hangup from my adolescence, when I discovered that most "universal" shades, as touted by magazines, looked terrible on me. Pinks look sickly on me; "true" reds and berries turn neon fuchsia; even bright oranges, like Shiseido Day Lily, head straight for Day-Glo peach. I used to try to counteract this trend by buying drugstore lipstick that looked very, very orange or very, very brown in the tube; these days I tend to buy higher-quality lipstick that turns less dramatically.

I am picky about lip products: I usually want them full-coverage and nearly matte. I love red lipstick and would wear it every day if I had the guts. It saddens me that red lipstick is ever considered trampy or garish; when my grandmother was my age, this was not the case at all. I probably look best in deeper, browner shades -- MAC Chili, Lipstick Queen Rust, YSL Opium Red -- but I love intense, balls-out orangey reds: Besame Carmine, Julie Hewett Belle Noir, MAC Lady Danger.

I have a number of medium-toned and sheer lipsticks, but have yet to figure out how to wear nude. I have a feeling that with colouring as high-contrast as mine, truly nude lips will never quite work.

Above, fairly standard makeup for me: darkened brows, eyes lined on top lids only, minimal eyeshadow, bright lips.

Labels: , ,

7/12/2009 [3]

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]. Or
follow on bloglovin'. If
you'd like to contact Dain,
feel free to email me.
I'm also on Pinterest.

The Mnemonic Sense
Most Wanted
The Beauty Primer
Consumer Diaries
Closet Confidential
On The Label
Beauty Notebook
The Hit List
Color Me In
The Makeup Artist
Wedding Bells
Globe Trotter
Desert Island

perfume notes
beauty notes
fashion notes
culture notes

chypre arc
floral arc
fresh arc
masculines arc
   & orientals arc

August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
August 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
March 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
June 2013
July 2013