Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"No Makeup" Makeup

I wanted to do a look that simply enhanced Allison's natural beauty. When I see her, I see someone authentically happy with herself and life. Physically, she has radiant eyes and china-bone facial structure.

This "no makeup" look is to draw your attention to her features and not her makeup. I stayed with neutral tones on the eyes: Revlon Not Just Nudes for the overall lid and Urban Decay's Naked 2 palette in the crease. Her lashes were enhanced with a lengthening and waterproof (she was heading to the beach right after) mascara. Toffee lipstick and a coral cream blush finished the look.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Can You Be Too Pretty?

I recently worked with an intern so stunning that men tripped over themselves to assist her...with everything but work-related tasks. The odd thing was she took work seriously, was professional, and didn't flaunt her beauty.

Still, it was all the men seemed to see when dealing with her. I later wondered if her beauty - though it may fade in time - would haunt her more than help her through her career. Despite her hard work and dedication to work, any reflection on this woman's, um, assets was purely focused on her physical assets. She was definitely smart, but people didn't recognize that. She was hard-working, but people didn't mention it. The glaring memory was of her beauty.

At work, unless you're a model, can being beautiful or handsome create its own prejudice? Do people judge  you as smarter or dumb, as if you're riding on your looks, as if you can't be taken seriously?

Years ago, I read an article where a woman knew her looks got her in most doors. Like an echo, she constantly heard in her mind, "You only have this because you're pretty." To test her theory, she gained 20 pounds, wore glasses, and eschewed makeup for months. The scales evened a bit for her, and even she felt reassurance that any professional strides she made were purely of her own doing.

When I get ready for work, I walk a fine line: wear makeup and look presentable, but don't put in the elbow grease it takes for a date. No one is supposed to judge me on my looks, for better or worse. When I think back on the intern, I remember that she felt a double-edged sword: Her beauty probably wasn't her biggest asset, but no one took the time to look beyond that. And as she works to build a career in a male-dominated industry, it will hinder her as much as help her.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Recent Beauty Discoveries

I've found a few gems in the last couple months that are worth checking out.

Olay Line Filler: Not a treatment, this product binds with your moisturizer and instantly minimizes the look of wrinkles and recessed areas. The precision applicator makes it easy to apply to specific problem zones. Instantly, your skin looks more youthful. It's a great equalizer after a bad night's sleep or if you have areas that chronically could use some plumping.

L'Oreal Voluminous Full Definition Mascara: The gold-tube mascara in the ever-expanding Voluminous line creates longer and fuller lashes with a single stroke. It doesn't clump and the results are clean and polished. This is the best mascara I've tried in a long time and one I'll repurchase.

Urban Decay Naked2 palette: I once thought this palette was too similar to the original and too cool-toned for my skin. The steel packaging is a step-up from the original Naked palette and the variety of shades make for endless possibilities of eye looks. My only complaint is UD seems intent on making the palettes far more shimmer-based that matte, but the shade line is unique, varied, and dazzling.

L'Oreal Ceramide Hair Mask: After adding golden highlights about ten times lighter than my natural color, I was on the search for a product that would help it from the brink of breakage. This hair mask is relatively cheap ($6), comes in a generously sized tub, smells decadent, and truly does restore the look of healthy hair.

Victoria's Secret blush in Fresh Love: A peach-toned blush that doesn't disappear into my olive complexion. It's well pigmented, so I don't need to keep applying to get color payoff. Every time I wear it, someone compliments me on the color and asks what it is.

Dr. Lewinn for Kinerase Scult and Lift Serum: It's interesting to me when a once high-end brand is available in drugstores. This hyaluronic-based serum is so light it literally feels like water upon application. But you can instantly feel the hydration and firming. Skin looks refreshed and more lifted upon application. It retails at $33.