It happens every year. As winter draws to a close, I realize that I am both a) terribly bored with my wardrobe, and b) seriously lacking in something—anything!—to update my look for the next season. And it’s the same thing with makeup. One day, you’re coasting along nicely with your typical wintery berry lip and taupey eyeshadow… and the next, you’re just not feelin’ it.
This is not to say that I’m recanting my post about the makeup essentials every woman should own. Just like those magazine articles on wardrobe investment pieces, the basics still form the foundation (zing!) of your entire look. (Although I always disagree when fashion editors advise more turtlenecks, white dress shirts and pantsuits—just the thought of waking up to that closet absolutely terrifies me.)
But my point is this: tell me if you haven’t purchased an absolutely outrageous pair of shoes (or so you thought at the time) that have ended up elevating every outfit and garnering more compliments than you thought possible. Well, the same thing goes for eyeshadow, and eyeliner and lipstick—except you might not even need to buy something new, just switch up the way you apply it.
Thankfully, celebs tend to go first with these things, so here are three lovely ladies that should help kick off some springtime beauty inspiration…
The Celeb: Anna Kendrick
The Look: Bronze eyeliner under the lower lashes
The Lowdown: How gorgeous is THIS?!? At first glance, you don’t notice any makeup at all, actually—just the twinkling around her eyes. Except the twinkle comes from bronzey eyeliner, applied only on the bottom and not along the waterlines but underneath the lower lashes. I never would’ve thought to do this, but I think it’s absolutely genius. It’s perfect for those of us who can’t or won’t wear tons of eyeshadow, and I lurrrve how it brings so much light to her eyes. Pair with black mascara and a bit of brown shadow at the outer corners and upper lashline. It would work well with a gold or even silver, too.
The Celeb: Eva Mendes
The Look: Creamy coral lipstick
The Lowdown: So you might not be down for orange lipstick. I get that. But may I suggest this kick-ass coral shade instead? It’s as close to universally flattering as you’re going to get: not too orange, not too pink and will work with a wide range of skin tones. Also notice the wonderful way Ms. Mendes has paired it with a RED dress, which is a variation on the expert colour-mixing we witnessed with Cameron Diaz’s pink lipstick and red dress (although yes, Cammy was looking a bit less than fresh there). If there’s a lipstick shade for summer ’11, this is it.
This post has tons of reader product suggestions if you’re in the market for this colour (most of them on the pinkier side, but many readers suggested corals). You can also easily mix the shade yourself: I’ve had great results layering Cargo’s Plant Love lipsticks in Maria and Evangeline.
The Celeb: Fergie
The Look: Extreme winged eyeshadow
The Lowdown: Like, whoa. This is so NOT me, and yet, I totally want to try it. It’s kind of the “go big or go home” version of the winged-out eyeliner look that we all know and love… this time, done with eyeshadow in an exaggerated (but still precise) point that extends up toward the temples. Notice how the wing is thick and angled all the way from the lower (not just upper) lashline. This is key, I think, to getting the look right—you want it to be strong and bold, not too flicky and feminine.
Obviously it’s not a look for the makeup novice (or the timid), but there IS one fairly easy way to cheat the look. You’re not going to get that artful curl at the top, but the effect will be pretty much the same. What you want to do is apply your smoky eye as normal, except concentrating the colour at the outer edges of course, as far out as you dare to go. THEN, the secret is to take away the product at the edges using eye makeup remover, applied in one diagonal swipe. Yep! That’s how you can achieve a perfectly straight line without the fuss of having to practice drawing it on yourself.
Last thing: whatever you do, please don’t emulate Sarah Jessica Parker’s “interesting” use of bronze eyshadow:
Are you feeling bored with your makeup lately?
Which of these three makeup looks is your fave?
What creative things have YOU been doing with your makeup these days? If you tell me you’ve been wearing SJP-style shadow, we can’t be friends.