Recently, I was over at my Mom’s house and looking through her makeup stash. I pulled out gorgeous eye shadow palettes, a gazillion mascara tubes, and a new eyeliner I’d been coveting for a while. I picked up item after item and said out loud, this is some serious bullshit. I shouldn’t be experiencing such jealousy over my own Mother’s makeup collection. But then I remembered both of my parents are easily cooler than I’ll ever be, and went back to ooohing and aaahing.
One of my best girls asked about makeup recommendations on Facebook, and obviously all these words couldn’t fit in a little status. I don’t want to bore people and shit. So here are my recommendations for those who are interested. I’ll list both a drugstore (CVS bucks or awards points or whatever they’re called ain’t no joke, son) and a Sephora/department store pick for those in varying economic situations. (Or, if you’re like me, you buy the same fucking shade of lip gloss or eyeshadow over and over and over even though you don’t necessarily need or afford it.)
Let’s go (as Diddy says):
*From the jump, anyone interested in wearing any type of eye makeup should have a good primer. My most favorite is from Urban Decay. People are so nuts about this primer that after they scoop out every last possible bit with the spongy-wand thingy, they break open the tube with a mallet or hammer or whatever to get to the remnants. How do I know this? Because my Mom watched a tutorial video on “the YouTube” and decided to try it for herself. She casually mentioned this one day and said, “I’d be happy to help you with yours, whenever you’re ready.” I pictured her with a hard-hat and goggles sawing through a mascara size tube of Urban Decay Primer Potion:
Why is primer important, you ask? Especially during the summer months, your eyelids can get slippery or even sweaty, and the primer acts almost as double-sided tape, to grab onto the pigment of the eyeshadow. Kind of like that mud woman on the Swifter commercial. Covergirl also has new eyeshadow/primer, and I bought the champagne-ish shade:
Notsomuch the BOSS.
I noticed that it was a lot more liquidy than the primer potion (which has the consistency of a thin concealer) and it takes awhile to dry. I wasn’t super impressed with it, but it can double as an eyeshadow if you’re in a rush.
*Also super important are brushes. I throw out the little sponge applicator bullshit that comes with anything you buy in a drugstore. If you’re just starting your collection, there are three main eyeshadow applicator contraptions that are a requirement. First, you’ll need a medium-sized (preferably somewhat stiff—-that’s what she said) brush. In a second, I’ll discuss the Urban Decay palette, and one of the plusses of that is the eyeshadow brush that comes with. You’ll use this to apply the eyeshadow to your lid (rather than your neck or earlobe…that sounded stupid) and it’s super important it’s of good quality. Most of them I’ve purchased from the drugstore ain’t worth a shit. I have seen displays where they have the brushes dangling from a thing on a rope or chain or whatever, and you can touch and caress them and see if they are to your liking. Second brush should be smaller than then medium-sized one (who’s writing this shit, Danny??) and can have an angle or a slant on it. Generally, you’ll use this brush to apply a dark color to the outer portion of your lid (commonly utilized when creating a “smokey eye” look) and/or a highlight color to your browbone. Last but not least, I recommend a brush just a bit larger than the first with loose bristles. This will be the brush you use to blend the shit out your eye makeup
so you don’t look fucking ridiculous for a natural look. You can also get an eyeliner brush, but any high quality liner will come with a good enough brush. You’ll use these brushes everyday, so quality is super important.
From left to right: fluffy brush used for blending, I prefer mine a bit bigger, this one you can use for outer corner or crease, eyeliner, and the medium one w/ stiff bristles used to deposit color on the biggest part of your lid.
*Eyeshadow: on the cheap, some fairly affordable (and highly pigmented eyeshadow) comes from the Loreal “Hip” line, and I believe they carry both loose pigments and pressed single colors and palettes. I’ve seen sales on these quite often, generally BOGO or buy one, get one half off. And did I explain pigment? If something is well pigmented, it means that you don’t have to use a shitload of it to get to the desired color you want (like something that looks super good when you buy it, but then you swipe it on and you don’t see anything on your eyelid *ahemCOVERGIRLahem* and will last and last throughout the day).
Loose "HIP" eyeshadow pigment from Loreal. I use this as a highlighter or on the entire eyelid if I'm lazy.
Physicians Formula has a good palette that you can pick based on your eye color, and that’s pretty much it.
The darker colors make for decent eyeliners and can be used wet or dry.
I’ve been horribly disappointed by Revlon, Covergirl, and Maybelline eyeshadow, but whatever. In this case, I think you get what you pay for. On the expensive tip, I gravitate towards Urban Decay, Nars, or Too-Faced. I know MAC is supposed to be the best in the world, but it seems like they put cocaine or meth in their shit because motherfuckers are addicted. I know once I go into a store and buy one little thing, I will be selling jewelry and pawning Danny’s toys to buy more. If you buy one thing and one thing only, I think it should be the Urban Decay “Naked” palette. The boys in my office always see it on my desk and say stuff like, “There’s Kelly, being a pervert again, because it has NAKED on the top in huge letters.” This color pigment and color payoff on every single one of the shadows in this bitch is the best. You have your base color, darker colors if you enjoy the smokey eye (they have both a darkish gray/almost black and a dark brown if you gravitate towards one or the other) and gorgeous highlighters you can use to highlight or swipe on your lid real quick if you’re in a lazy mood and want to look un-dead. It’s good for travel (like I ever go anywhere) makes a super good gift. Who had this first? My Mom, of course. I literally squealed when I saw it in her makeup drawer.
These colors really float my boat. And it even comes with a mini-tube of the Primer Potion. They aren't fucking around.
Same thing for a Too-Faced palette she just got. If you watch Basketball Wives, some of the ladies look
like clowns slightly ridiculous but sometimes their eyeshadow is on point. One look I love is a matte champagne-ish color that pops, and it’s hard to get this look with any old eyeshadow but the one in the Two-Faced palette does the trick. I was waving my arms up in the air all, HALLELUJAH, I’ve found it, and my Mom walked up and said, “Two-Faced palette, huh?” And anything you get from Nars is awesome and crazy pigmented. They have a little case you can buy which can fit a couple of shadows in one and has a small mirror. Love.
The color on the top left hand side is my jam. And the black is good for eyeliner or a super smokey eye, but blend like your life depends on it.
Me after I used this palette:
*Mascara. Mascara is one of the few items you can buy at a drugstore that is comparable to something super brand named. I’ve taken to the new Covergirl mascara in a pink tube, but the throwback Maybelline in the black and pink tube is always a winner (even though it’s hard as hell to get off). If you don’t mind spending a little money, DiorShow is fanfuckingtastic, but can get a little gloppy. I recommend using a paper towel (not a tissue, because the wand will grab the softer fibers off it it and get all disgusting) to blot off the excess before application. I don’t mess with an eyelash curler (I would be blind) but I hear they help. Whatever.
The Covergirl mascara that’s on heavy rotation:
*Eyeliner: Two words: BOBBI BROWN. Her lip gloss is a personal fave (that’s for a later post, see what you did, Monica??) but her gel eyeliner where it’s at. Even if you suck at putting on eyeliner, it comes with a brush that makes it somewhat easy. The trick is to hold your lid taut and steady your elbow and hand on a table or on the wall (if you have a mirror hung up at home or in your office) and go slow. Have baby wipes on hand to wipe off quick if you mess up. Clinique also makes a good pencil eyeliner that has a delightful smudge applicator on the end. You can also use any eyeliner brush (or small/slanted eyeshadow applicator) and use a dark eyeshadow (either wet or dry) as an eyeliner. On the drugstore scene, Loreal also has eyeliner in a little pot, but I find it doesn’t go on as smooth as my beloved Bobbi Brown does. Covergirl also came out with an eyeshadow “pencil” (it’s more of a highly pigmented mini-eyeshadow stick to be specific) that’s alright, but you need to buy the Covergirl sharpener (sold separately) to sharpen it. That’s bad business.
All you need to know:
The brush alone should excite you.
*Because I have strange eyebrows (and Danny “pulls” at them before he goes to sleep–it’s strange and slightly lotion in the basket-ish) I need to use an eyebrow pencil. My favorite is by the brow guru Anastasia. I got my Mom hooked on this one (I felt superior about that, almost like when I introduce my Dad to a good band) and she is a believer. I wouldn’t mess with anything in a drugstore for this.
There are two main "pencils" she makes, but I prefer this one. Jane McCormack agrees.
And finally, I just found a product I love. It’s the only thing I’ve felt like buying twenty of because I’m scared they’ll discontinue it. I hate the greasy feeling of most makeup removers, and I don’t like walking around with a strange film on my eyeball that I imagine mimics cataracts. These Visine eye wipes say they are intended for the use of wiping debris or dust from the eye area, but a tiny sentence on the back says it can also be used to remove makeup. They are super gentle on your eyes, and I like to imagine little magic elves dipping each pad in a special mixture of Visine and love. BUY THEM. They’ll be in the eye care section or your drugstore or supermarket, by the eye drops.
I like anything with the word "soothing" in it.
I hope that wasn’t terribly boring, everyone. If you have any questions/comment/etc let me know. One of my BFF’s from Miami, Giselle, just got a job at NARS. Do you know what this means????? I’d love for her to answer questions to, or maybe post (for the ten people who read this). She is beautiful and skilled and the fucking best.
Goodnight, everyone. (And in case you got nothing out of this, here’s the new trailer for the upcoming season of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.)