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As much as we love nail art, we’re better at admiring designs than coming up with them ourselves. That’s why we’ve enlisted Anna Norman, the smarty pants behind Glitter, She Wrote, to be a regular contributor. Every Monday, she’ll be sharing her latest lacquer inspiration—you won’t be satisfied with plain ol’ polish again.
Do the changing seasons have you stumped? If you’re not sure what color to choose for your nails right now, you’re not alone. Lucky for us, Pantone’s Fall 2012 Color Report is here to help. These 10 shades will be showing up all season in clothes, makeup and of course, polish.
Velvet Bloom (Wet n Wild Knock On Wood Trio, with MAC Rebel Lipstick)
A rather straightforward look (which I believe will be flattering on most people) featuring soft eyes a rose-colored lips for those who want to play up their pout more than their eyes.
It’s getting to the end of Summer, so I wanted to start getting into the duskier, more romantic colors like rose, cocoa brown, dusty pinks. This made me whip out Rebel lipstick from MAC and my Knock On Wood trio from Wet n Wild.
Step 1: I used the middle shade in the Knock on Wood trio (soft chocolate brown) and blended that lightly onto the inner and outer 1/3 of the lid. The color should go up to the hollow of your socket, so even if you have hooded or mono-lids, you can wear this look.
If you don’t have the Knock on Wood palette, this is a pretty easy shade to find. I just recommend shades that aren’t too metallic for this look. Go for something matte or semi-matte, to get that soft-focus finish.
Step 2: In the center of the lid, I used the softest shade in the palette, the dusty beige-pink browbone shade at the top, and just blended it on, buffing into the brown earlier so there are no obvious lines.
Step 3: To finish the eye, I simply used a pale beige/ivory shimmer pencil (Majolica Majorca #71, or ANY ivory eye shadow if you don’t have a pencil) to brighten just the inner corners.
Then I finished with black mascara on top and bottom lashes.
The finished eye should look satiny and subtly contoured, but not like a ton of eye makeup.
On the cheeks, I dusted on a soft pink (Bourjois Little Round Pot Eyeshadow #15; use any soft pink you have that isn’t too strong or bright!) and then slicked on MAC Rebel over my lips, which looks really dark and vampy in the tube but goes on a lovely rose color.
Make-up lessons with Twiggy : dark eye-liner, a lot of mascara (do you say “too much” ?) and a gentle look. This girl was so refreshing.
Last night ABC’s 20/20 aired a segment on 29-year-old Kjerstin Gruys, a sociology PhD candidate who managed to avoid looking at herself in a mirror for an entire year. Gruys, who didn’t even look in a mirror on her wedding day, decided to embark on one of the craziest personal experiments that we’ve ever heard of to bump up her self-esteem and help inspire others to focus less on appearances.
MAC Ruby Woo: Matte Red Lipstick with Glasses and Nothing Else
- Revlon Really Red (matte) - classic deep crimson; this is like Ruby Woo toasted until it’s a little more golden brown.
- Wet n Wild Cherry Picking (matte) - goes on maraschino-cherry cool red on liht skins, fuchsia on dark skins.
- MAC Ruby Woo (retro matte) - red-red; no other way to describ it. Zero shine on the lips.
- MAC Russian Red (matte) - deep red with a base-tone of brown/plum.
Lips in a shade of rich crimson are a perfect accessory for those days when you don’t want to do much else on your face. For days you’re wearing glasses, it’s also great fun to pop on a super-strong lip to brighten up your face without doing anything to your eyes.
This might not be a look for everyone but give it a shot before you say nay.
Some other tips:
- Just apply a bit of concealer where needed, blot your skin (if you like the matte look).
- Groom or fill in your brows if yours are sparse. You don’t want a very strong lip and then barely-there brows. The lower half of your face will look done, and your upper half undone.
- If your glasses are quite big and statement-ey, go easy on the blush and eye shadow (light, neutral tones), or dispense with them entirely if you can get away with it. It will all look a bit too 80’s to have big glasses with colorful shadow, strong blush AND red lips. (You’d just need to throw in shoulder pads and teased hair to complete the look.)
Best Red for You?
There are a few different categories for reds.
There are neutrals (red-reds like Ruby Woo, or deeper tones like Russian Red), cools (cherry or burgundy tones like Cherry Picking or Diva), warms (Lady Danger, NYX Pure Red), and this alone confuses tons of people. The one thing you need to remember is that reds appear different on different people, which is why some people find the shade “Russian Red” looks fuchsia-toned on them, and some people find it looks orange/brown-toned.
Also, don’t just take it as is when you read or hear about how “warm reds” look good on “warm or yellow toned skin” and “cool reds” only look good on “cool or pink toned skin”. I have very yellow-toned skin but I love both warm and cool reds equally. It all depends on the effect you are going for and what makeup you are wearing on the rest of your face.
Like the most-popular question I get, “I have xx colored eyes; what eye shadow would look good on me?”, I’m going to tell you again - NOBODY can give you a prescribed formula for a perfect red lipstick for you, because you need to factor in your “entire self”, including differences in hair tones, eye colors, blusher/cheek tones, natural lip tone, skin tone changes over the year, clothing, and your personal taste. The best way to understand what tones look good on you is to go to a counter with minimal makeup and neutral clothing (white, black, grey) and apply it right to your lips.
Try it sheer as a stain, and try it opaque like a pin-up lip. If you have very dark and pigmented lips, remember the lipstick will appear different from how it looks in the tube.
In general, if you’re starting out with red, I suggest going for something that is a bit deeper than true red, as true reds can tend to pull a bit orange/pink against different skin tones whereas a deeper red can stand its ground better against various skin tones.