Posts Tagged ‘MAC’
Here’s what I learned from the lady at the MAC store on Friday: when attempting to apply liner to the the outer corners of the lower lash line—always such a tricky maneuver—swap out your brush liner for an old-school pencil. Goodbye, smudgy mess, hello, eyes so huge and pretty you won’t believe they’re yours.
Beauty gift sets are always big during the holidays—both for shoppers looking for a one-step present that packs a punch, and for the beauty industry itself, which relies heavily on them for a big old hunk of their annual revenue. Cute as they are, though, I’m always careful about which ones I choose to give. Those that center on pampering and skin care clear the bar. But anything that’s more makeup-oriented—and therefore requires the kind of insights into the giftee’s wants and needs that would would be tough to confirm were one not the giftee herself, are risky. Better to give those to somebody whose wants and needs you’re on more intimate terms with: you. And before you shake your heads at my uncanny ability to yet again rationalize any purchase, ever, consider this: holiday gift sets are reliably good values. You won’t find a better price for your favorite products all year. Meanwhile, in the spirit of the season, I’ve included a few choices from both categories. (And by the way, I’ve got my eye on the Josie Maran set.)
This is one beauty treatment that’s never much tempted me. Because it’s pricey and doesn’t last long and—like self-tanning and botox—going to a technician who has anything but a super-light hand can result in a dead giveaway. But nobody warned me about the fact that at a certain point in a woman’t life, her eyelashes start thinning out. And I have found this development quite irksome. So on Sunday, at the Flatiron District MAC store (where, BTW, I found the exactly perfect shade of un-sparkly, not at all Heather Locklear-ian dark navy eyeshadow that has been eluding me) when I complimented the girl who rang me up on her lashes, and she gave me a card with the name and number of the place where she got them done, I stuck that card in my bag and there it remains. It’s half as much as fancy salons charge, and all the MAC girls go there, apparently. And I figure their recommendation would be as good as it gets on this front. But still: not quite sure I can clear this hurdle. Anyone?
Over the course of the past year or so, I have become something I thought I’d never be: a woman who won’t leave the house without makeup on. I’ll go out to walk the dog with my hair piled on top of my head and an outfit that suggests I got dressed in the dark, but you can bet that I will have applied a little lippy on my way out the door. It was a gradual progression, and one that reached what I suppose was its inevitable conclusion (I am, of course, from Texas) the moment I discovered the incredible transformative power of eyeshadow. Eyeshadow, as it turns out, is magic. Not as magic as bronzer, but close. Feeling tired? Washed out? Just pile some on, and you’re good to go. I’d imagine a lot of you were already on to this, but it was a revelation to me.
My sister in law Shanna, who is both from the south and also once aspired be an actress—and is therefore in a position to know from a dramatic eye—has been my primary eyeshadow educator, and it is from her that I learned about the importance of a good primer. Primer helps makeup go on all nice and even—something that’s particularly important for anyone who, like me, has a less-than-steady hand—and keeps it from creasing and fading. This one from Laura Mercier is so creamy and easy to apply. I put it on my eyelids, but also under my eyes, so my concealer will stick on better too.
I like a dark purple-type color best: the blacker and more eggplanty the better. And I am not a fan of the sparkle. If I’m feeling particularly in need of a lift, I’ll go for this Laura Mercier shade, Black Plum. I’m also quite fond of Mac’s Shadowy Lady, which goes on maybe a bit less dramatically but leaves pretty much the same dark, plummy kind of effect. A girl likes at least the illusion of variety. And for weekend days or other times when something less drastic appears to be in order, I’ve been relying on Magic Night from Chanel, which has a lot more of a brown thing going on.
I’ve tried to make inroads with other, lighter, colors, but so far nothing’s clicked. A while back, I talked myself into a really rich, deep blue, but it was a disaster. If you grew up in the 70s—and do not really know your way around a makeup brush—blue eyeshadow can only ever read tacky. On the other hand, I have nothing but fearless enthusiasm for hues that go darker and darker still, and on Saturday, I bought myself a tube of this Ellis Faas cream eyeshadow in Deep Black at Space NK. It is, as advertised, inky-dark. And after applying it, my hands looked like I’d just been fingerprinted by a particularly inept law enforcement officer. But boy, did my eyes pop.
In the old days, when I needed to look good for some important work event or activity, actual hair and makeup professionals would come to my office. And while they aways created a version of me that was really, shockingly, far better than me, I always found the experience unbearably boring and time-consuming.* The fact that some editors did it a couple of times a week—some daily—astonished me.
Last Friday, however, I had something pretty important, and I wanted to look good. At the very least, a blow-out executed by a person other than myself seemed advisable. And although my competence makeup-wise is pretty decent these days, a little something extra in that department seemed to be in order too. So I walked over to the MAC store on Bleecker, and a very nice young man named Jonathan applied false lashes—a light pair, so as to avoid any Real Housewifey-ness—and that’s all it took. A happy, inexpensive maybe-almost-as-good shortcut to what took ages back in the office.
*First world problem, yes, I’m with you all the way.