Thursday, 7 January 2016

So Cool

 We had a brief snowfall, which is always so pretty on the trees.   While I am not personally quite as white as snow, I sometimes look quite near it, as you can see by my arm, below.

A big change for me has been experimenting with makeup after a ten year hiatus from it.  I've been really exhausted lately, and trying not to get upset by the dishes and laundry piling up.  Such things stress me as I don't like mess unless it is a creative mess.  Self care can be a bit of a distraction and helps me to feel I am not a totally hopeless case. 

Cool and light makeup colours work best for me, matching the pinks, blues and taupes that are already in my face.

                            Here is a sample of colours I typically use.

Essence Natural Beauty
Essence Barely There-this one is my MLBB
Revlon Mauvy Night-this one is pretty much my red
L'Oreal True Match CoolC1-2 blush
Almay Blendable Eye Pencil 02 Brown
Annabelle Kohl Pencil 80 Blue Grey
NYX, Craving
Lise Watier, Bleu Intense-looks darker on my eyelids than on my arm
Revlon Taupe-also good for eyebrows
Revlon Greige
L'Oreal True Match, N1 Soft Ivory

I also use L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Brown-Black.  It doesn't make my lashes crunchy.

I don't typically use foundation all over my face but sometimes make a tinted moisturizer by mixing it with my every day lotion.  It's tricky to find something as pale as I am but this does disappear into my skin when blended so it's the best I've ever found.  The N stands for neutral and I find the cool version in this brand is tinted too pink.  Pink is good for cheeks and lips but I don't want it all over my face as it doesn't look natural on me.

     Eyes here are the brown/taupes and the lips are Natural Beauty by Essence.

Another stunned, deer in the headlights sort of pose.  It's my specialty.
Here, I am wearing the blue-grey pencil and shadows and Essence Barely There on my lips.  Also, bed head.

Differences in the two are relatively subtle and the different effects of photogrpahy, lighting and angles are probably more profound.  The lighting of the second photo is better and the image looks more 'normal' to me.

When we think of makeup that gives a natural look we often think of warmer tones.  There is that bias towards earth tones that are neutral-warm when we think of natural or earthy concepts in colouring, whether it is makeup clothing or home decor.  While I am attracted to them I realise that I am not inherently warm toned myself and those colours just look wrong on me.  It's not appropriate to try to warm me up.  I am blue and pink  and I can't even imagine that face above wearing orange and yellow based tones.

I've gone heavier with eye makeup than I have in a decade and I think the last time I wore coloured eye shadow or blush was 1989 or thereabouts.  I'm feeling slightly self conscious about it but at least I know that the colours make sense and it takes a very generous application before I even get close to looking over done.  I had coffee with my friend Pam while looking like this and she is not used to seeing me in makeup.  She complimented my hair but did not say anything about makeup and she would if she noticed.

Generally I aim for a balanced face instead of a dramatic eye or bold lip.  I find it much easier to live with.  Having said that, I think the purpose of all makeup is to make the eyes most noticeable.  I want you to look me in the eye, not stare at my lips.  I want the whole face to look like it belongs together and belongs on me. 

On behalf of cool people everywhere, I want to tell all makeup artists, hair stylists and anyone else giving make-overs.  Please don't try to warm someone up.  It doesn't happen.  Warm is not the only way to look good and we have the obsession with the California Beach Babe look to blame for our thinking that it does.  Unless your natural colouring is reminiscent of Snow White, Hollywood wants you tanned and golden blonde.  This really does not suit everyone, and neither does that ring of black they love to put around everyone's eyes. Why don't they listen to me?

Well, at least I am the expert in charge of my own face.


  1. I like it! More importantly, do you like it? As you say, you are the boss of you. Your way goes.

    A little makeup can lift our spirits. People respond positively to it. Often its effect is subliminal: you just "look better" to observers.

    1. Thanks, Ally. The feminist in me still kinda resents that I look better this way. LOL but the psychologist in me tells me that we all choose from what is available to us to make ourselves look better and this is no different. Nobody makes me wear makeup and I am still in control, it feels like self care and not really any different from using moisturizer or wearing my best colours or flattering shapes. Although, there are times when women are expected to wear it to look professional and I have a hard time with that. xoxo

  2. I hear you about the warmed up tanned look! With my pale skin...yuck!
    I go through phases with makeup, like you. I'm in a no makeup phase right now and when I do use it it is usually just lips. It does brighten me up for my blog photos.
    I resent knowing I look better with artificial aids and worry about consuming chemicals.
    My kids comment on it when I do where it as it is rare, and I usually accidentlly wipe it off, esp. eye makeup!
    I like these colours on you. To my eye the top photo is slightly more defined looking than the bottom. Probably the brown vs the grey.
    I hope your energies return soon. I am in a similar mode. Coming down from Christmas/New Year no doubt.
    And yay for beautiful snow! love you! Jazzy Jack

    1. JJ the first photo looks more intense somehow but that is the lighting and I don't see that face when I look in the mirror-lol. I do favour the brown eye makeup though. I seem to be taking awhile to recover from December and I often think of you and wonder how you are doing with that too. Ooooh a grey scarf sounds lovely. I am looking for a grey/taupe blended wool for kitting a scarf but I'd better finish my wildly coloured blanket first. xoxoxo

  3. PS Knitting a grey scarf and thinking of you xo

  4. Hello Shawna, you look lovely in both photos, bed hair and all, not that I would have known if you hadn't mentioned it. I like understated make up on myself and don't use much of it at all. But as I have got older I have started using a very light moose foundation that just evens out my aging skin. I say make up is like clothes, wear it for yourself and the way you like it. I love the look of bold bright lipsticks but on me I look like I should be hustling on a street corner!!

  5. Hey Shawna ... I always feel better when I have make-up on as I am very white and look sick without makeup. Thankfully my hubby doesn't mind if I don't wear make-up. I experiment with all colours.

  6. I'm glad you're having fun with makeup again. These are great photos. For many years I didn't wear any makeup at all and then I started playing and I've enjoyed the different looks I can express depending on my mood and what I'm wearing.
    I like your arm colour chart! Ha.

  7. Finding the perfect make up for us can be really tricky. I must admit I rely on help of ladies who know something about make up and they often give me good advice about what to purchase. I always struggled with finding the perfect foundation for myself because my skin is naturally dark. Even in Winter when it gets lighter, it is still a warm undertone so finding the right foundation was always tricky. For most of my life, I have had almost a phobia of make up and I only wore it to work and for special events but lately I've been experimenting a bit and I discovered some new things.

    I do agree with what you say, every skin type needs different shades and there is no point in trying to warm up a face that doesn't need it. Personally, I do think that everyone looks best with the skin colour they naturally have...I don't see the point of overtanning that ends up with people being orange....and pleanty of women wear too much bronzer. Fair skin is just as beautiful as dark skin. I also don't think there is something wrong with using make up to make ourself feel better....we do the same with clothes and other things. I think what matters is that we are comfortable with who we are...and then make up is not really an issue.

  8. snow! wonderful!!!
    you mastered the very tricky way to find the right colors for your makeup - your artist eye has helped you for sure. but all the average women out there without such eye have to follow this "specialists" - and a lot decided to stay away completely from makeup instead of looking "wrong" despite all the "good tips"
    i´m not in the "natural look" department - if i make the effort to paint my face i want a artistry effect - at the moment i´m in love with bright cool pink eyeshadow or blush and turquoise mascara or very red/pink lips....
    greetings from the ice princess! xxxx

  9. You have some lovely colors in your makeup arsenal that suit you perfectly! Is the NYX pencil one of their chubby ones or a skinny one? I also struggle to find eye shadow in particular that isn't overly warm/20 shades of copper in a "neutral" palette. I can wear some warm-ish shades but stick to pinky peach blushes and taupe/pale pink or cream eyeshadow. I do like a bit of dark purple eyeliner if I'm feeling daring. But the super warm eye shadows make me look ill mostly! So I can't possibly be warm toned?! I agree re: raccoon eyes and no lips/over-emphasizing one feature to the point of cartoonish-ness is not something I'm into. xo

    p.s. Estee Lauder do quite nice foundations for different skintones in neutral ranges, I was shocked to find I'm best suited to one of their light beige ones, as opposed to the cool/rosy ones. You are right, pink skin does not need more pink slapped on top of it!

  10. Also beautiful pictures of snow! I am envious, it's rainy and dark and blech in Scotland, what I would give for some pretty fluffy white stuff!


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