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· Color Me In: Cassandra

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Color Me In: Cassandra
by Dorothy

FIRST NAME  Cassandra

HAIR COLOR  Ranges from dark red to titian during a dye cycle - naturally medium blonde

SKIN TYPE  Normal to a teeny bit dry, blackheads at nose, chin and hairline, sensitive, very minor breakouts, touch of pigmentation on the chin

SKIN TONE  Fair, pretty even. Not a flusher or a blusher.

EYE COLOR  Mostly blue

MAKEUP STYLE  Minimalist, which is beginning to bore me. I dye my lashes and brows so I look alive in the mornings.

SPECIFIC CONCERNS  Essentially, how to go a little bigger? I have a surprising quantity of makeup for a woman who's been wearing mostly lip balm, but work is very casual and I've fallen out of the habit. It took me till my 30s to understand I could use red lipstick, and now I wear a variation on red most days. I despise Nars Orgasm—gold glitter has no place on my face, and though the underlying color is very pretty there's something banal about the whole thing—but not sure about how to choose blush in general. I find anything beyond the simplest wash of eyeshadow with eyeliner really challenging. I feel like it all gets muddied up.

Basically, except for my affection for red lipstick, I am stuck in a very boring rut.

TOP THREE FAVORITE PRODUCTS  Laventine normal/dry oil cleanser, Biologique Recherche P70V, and the Le Metier de Beauté Kaleidoscope I bought last week. I haven't used the last yet, but it isn't taupe. Which is very exciting.


As Cassandra likes her skin, there's not much point in covering it up. A bit of undereye concealer, the universal savior, and a blush that brightens her face, such as Shiseido RD401 Orchid ($30), should be sufficient to bring life to the skin.

Applied sheerly, the bright blush provides the perfect backdrop for her favorite reds, which can sometimes drain the face. To round out her collection, we recommend NARS Jungle Red ($24), a highly pigmented, retro-matte, bright cherry red. If you're going to do red, it might as well be unapologetically red. For a more mundane, easy-wearing alternative, we cannot choose lipsticks that skew too warm, like peachy nudes, as Cassandra's original coloring belongs to a blonde, her skin tone considerably cooler than a natural redhead's. We think a juicy pink with a bit of gloss to it, like Lipstick Queen Fly ($20), should flatter her better.

Cassandra has not experimented much with eye makeup, but with her big blue eyes and generous lid space, her options are practically limitless. Our first recommendation is a couple of fluffy blending brushes—Paula Dorf Sheer Crease ($30) is a good one for large eyes—to keep the pigments under control. If you're going to attempt more complicated eye looks, seamless diffusion is key.

With her cool complexion, it's no wonder that she often complains that taupes go "muddy" on her. So we chose, as the central pigment in Cassandra's eye palette, the blue-tinged graphite of Benefit Strut ($19). Since it's a cream shadow, it'll form the foundation for a quick smoky eye, when anchored by the bruised black of Laura Mercier Black Violet Eye Kohl ($19), with a surprising undertone of purple that's softer than your standard black. For an extra hit of color, she might layer a brighter pigment onto the center of the lid, a plum like Le Metier de Beauté Alexandrite ($30), for an intense tonal contrast of her blue eyes, though she could just as easily substitute a green or gold or sapphire blue, as the mood suits her. For a highlight, we suggest the crystalline mauve of Laura Mercier Dusk ($22). A thread of grey in its undertones ties it neatly to Strut and Black Violet, but there's enough pink-purple to pair, very simply, as an eye-opening wash on the lid with Alexandrite in the crease.

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10/12/2011 [3]

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