Color Challenge: Harajuku Birthday Party

Harajuku makeup tutorial
Featuring not one, but two Polly Pocket necklaces.

When my friend invited me to his Harajuku themed birthday party, I had one thought: how will I do my makeup? In day-to-day life I prefer a fairly natural look, but it’s fun to go all out on occasion.

The day before, I did a quick run-through, featuring teal halo smokey eyes and bubblegum pink lips. I wasn’t satisfied – not as colorful or playful as I wanted. Also, the birthday party was a brunch, so I didn’t want to deal with my lipstick wearing off during a meal.

teal smokey eye tutorial
Bright, but not quite wacky enough.

Instead, I decided to play up my eyes and wear a simple pink lip stain that would require no touching up.

How to Get this Ridiculous Look in (Only) 10 Steps: 

1. Apply eye primer. My current favorite is Wet N Wild’s Fergie (yes, from the Black Eyed Peas) primer.
2. Brush a skin-toned matte shade (I use Lorac Cream) below your eyebrows at the edge of the smokey eye, so that you can blend it with the pink. If you don’t have a shadow that matches your skin, you can also use a translucent setting powder, like Make Up Forever’s HD powder.

3. Apply the pink shade to the crease and outer corner of your eye using windshield wiper motions. I used Urban Decay in Junkshow, a fuschia pink with a shimmery blue shift.

4. Pat on teal eyeshadow to the mobile lid and the center of the lower lashline, just below the iris. I used Urban Decay Deep End, which has great pigmentation.

5. Blend the pink and blue with a clean, fluffy blending brush. This will create a purple shade along the lower part of the crease.

6. Pat black eyeshadow with a small brush to the outer corner, and blend with circular motion. I used Urban Decay’s Blackout, the deepest, matte-ish black I’ve ever tried (I did side-by-side comparisons of the half dozen black shadows I have from various palettes).

7. For an inner corner highlight, I used a L’Oreal lime green loose shadow I bought in … 2004? Ssssh, powder makeup doesn’t expire quickly, and you’ll know it when it does.

8. Apply black liquid liner in a dramatic wing. I used Urban Decay’s 24/7 liquid liner. It has an ultra-fine brush for pointy wings, and once you put it on, it doesn’t budge. It has a slightly glossy finish. If you want a matte black shade, try Kat Von D’s liner in Trooper.

9. Brush on a coat of lash primer and several coats of black mascara on top and bottom lashes. I’m currently using Lancome’s lash primer and Givenchy Phenomen’eyes mascara. False lashes intimidate me, so I stick to lash primer and mascara.

10. Don’t forget your eyebrows! I brushed on a coat of Maybelline clear mascara and lightly filled in with Anastasia Dip Brow in Blonde. I brushed in the pomade with a clean spoolie.

I finished off the look with a ballet pink lip stain by heavily applying Revlon balm stain in Cherish, and then wiping it mostly off with a tissue (ok it was actually a piece of toilet paper).

With so much going on with the eyes, I kept the skin simple, with no foundation or concealer, but you do you. I did use two (2) highlighters – Benefit High Beam, a silvery pink, topped with Colourpop Fanny Pack, a white cream shade. To add color to my cheeks I used a lavender pink glittery blush, a shade from Tarina Tarantino’s blush pallete that I rarely get a chance to wear.

 I finished off the look with two powders: Make Up Forever HD powder, which blurs, mattifies, and preserves the makeup, and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light, a soft yellow powder that adds a radiance back to the conplexion, and reduces redness. 
Luckily, living in New York City means even a dramatic look like this doesn’t attract second glances on the subway.


Color Challenge: Amethyst and Orange


0EBAC7ED-6730-4C69-BF73-044A0B14898BYesterday it was nearly 60 degrees in Brooklyn. Warm enough to grab a bottle of rosé and head to my friend’s backyard. To celebrate, I chose a spring-like combination of purple and orange eyeshadow.

Here’s how to get this look:

  1. Apply a copper eyeshadow (from Sleek’s Sunset Palette) with a fluffy brush to your eye crease, blending above and below.
  2. With a small brush, pack a purple eyeshadow (Urban Decay Omen) onto the lid near from your lash line to your crease.
  3. Blend the crease and lid color using windshield wiper motions along the eye socket.
  4. Apply a matte dark purple shadow (Lorac PRO Palette’s Deep Purple) to the outer corner of the eye and blend with small, circular motions.
  5. Apply black mascara to top and bottom lashes (Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes).
  6. Define eyebrows with a gel, and brush through with a clean spoolie (Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Blonde).
  7. Apply a soft pink tinted lip balm (Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rosé).
  8. Using your pinky finger, apply a white highlighter (Colourpop Fanny Pack) to the top of your cheekbone.
  9. Sweep a powder peach blush (Tarina Tarantino’s Feather) on your cheeks.
  10. Using your ring finger, apply a reddish-brown cream contour (Colourpop Aphrodisiac) to the hollow of your cheek, and blend upwards.
  11. Brush on a bronzer along your hairline (BareMinerals Warmth)
  12. Finish with a blurring powder all over (Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light).




Color Challenge: Mermaid Beauty with Teal Smokey Eyes

mermaid beauty
Where did my shell bra go?

For the last year I’ve been growing my hair out, past the usual below-shoulders length I’ve been at for the last 5 years. I have thick hair, but the hairs are individually fine and fragile, which has made the process very frustrating (unintentional quasi-alliteration, I swear!). And why have I been aspiring for long hair? To look like a mermaid, of course.

But there’s hope for us medium-haired girls. You can look like a mermaid right now, all it’ll take is a curling iron and some teal eyeshadow. Check out the step by step photos below!

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Subtle Color Challenge: Green Eye Makeup for Daytime

green eye makeup
You’ll miss the flash of color in a blink of an eye

I’ve read many times before that colorful eye makeup should be saved for after dark. My response: where’s the fun in that? But if you’re working at a conservative office, it’s in your interest to keep things subtle. So far my Color Challenge posts have been loud, fun, and a little brash.

Today I’m going the opposite direction. It might look like a neutral eye from a distance, but you’ll be smiling to yourself about your little colorful secret. See the very sneaky close-up shot below.

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Color Challenge: Hot, Hot, Hot Pink Lips!

bright pink lips
Already plotting my next lipstick purchase.

With Memorial Day come and gone, we’ve unofficially moved into summer, my favorite season. When I think of summer I think of beach trips and dinners of steamed crabs, corn on the cobs, and cold Yuenglings. Summer’s beginning calls for a celebration, and what’s more celebratory than bright pink lips?

I can already tell this is going to be the Year of the Lipstick for me, having recently picked up three (3!) of the new Maybelline Vivids which I’ll review in a forthcoming post. Short story: they’re hydrating, pigmented, and long-lasting. Very impressive for a $7.50 drugstore lipstick.

When you’re doing bright lips for daytime, it’s important to balance out the look with your eyes. I love the super chic look of just lipstick, nothing else, but if you’re willing to put in a couple more minutes of work, upper liner and mascara is the way to go. Read on to see a closeup of the eye makeup.

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Color Challenge: Purple and Orange – Together!

Quite the combination.
Quite the combination.

I love purple smokey eyes, and I think it’s one of the easier bright shades to pull off. Brown eyes, blue eyes, and especially green eyes look fantastic with the accent of purple. Therefore I wouldn’t classify it as a color challenge on its own, but paired with an orange lip – that is a true color challenge!

Usually when I wear purple smokey eyes I’ll pair it with cool-toned, blue-based pinks. That’s the obvious, and always beautiful pairing. But what happens when you pair it with a warm-toned lip? Then it’s magical. Pairing warm and cool tones is the new thing, didn’t you know?

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