Our makeup maven and Beauty Squad member Lauren Cosenza supports trying anything in the quest for self-expression. Each month she pushes our cosmetic boundaries beyond the beauty comfort zone. In this edition she invites a color-shy friend to try out the new electric blue shadow look.
Neon appeared all over the runways at the spring 2013 ready-to-wear shows, indicating that one of last summer's most electrifying trends is here to stay. But the look wasn't showing up primarily on clothes, bags, belts and shoes this time around. No, it was popping out on lids, paving the way for the return of brightly colored cosmetics to dress up the eyes. A vivid blue was a go-to hue for designers including Michael Kors, Dior, Anna Sui, Monique Lhuillier and Clements Ribeiro.
To test this traffic-stopping look, I had to find someone who loves makeup but is resistant to color.
I immediately thought of my very close friend Christina Ballinger (below). Christina, whose family owns Webster Hall, works in management at the famed establishment that is equal parts live music venue and nightclub. Still Christina consistently wears minimal makeup in a neutral palette. To put things in lyrical terms she would relate to as a huge Rolling Stones fan, it was time to take her from "Paint It Black" to "She’s Like a Rainbow."
Here is how I created the look:
Step 1: I prepped Christina's skin by applying Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream. I used my hands to smooth the product onto her complexion, which helps to enhance its skin-care benefits and to make it appear as a flawless second skin versus a layer of makeup.
Step 2: I defined Christina's facial features and bone structure by using the contouring and highlighting powders in the It Cosmetics My Sculpted Face kit. The placement diagram included in the kit shows you where everything goes.
Step 3: I covered Christina's few imperfections and the discoloration around her eyes, nose and mouth, and then further highlighted her cheekbones and the bridge of her nose using the dual-ended Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Conceal & Brighten stick. Tip: This look is all about the eyes, so go for minimal or no color on the cheeks.
Step 4: I tapped Shiseido Hydro Powder Eye Shadow in Languid Lagoon onto Christina's eyelids as a base to grab the bright blue pigments.
Step 5: I blended the white and aqua from Maybelline Eye Studio Color Plush Silk Eyeshadow Quad in Sapphire Siren and dusted the shadow from her lash lines to her brows. I then blended the aqua and indigo and pressed the shadow from her lash lines to her creases. Next I dabbed into the indigo on its own and patted it right above her lash lines. I blended the colors where they met below the creases. This created a gradient ombré effect, but I did not blend above the creases to keep the pop of color there defined.
Step 6: I softly rimmed Christina's waterlines and tearlines with Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Stingray, a jet black.
Step 7: I added a touch of mascara by sweeping on one coat of Avon SuperShock Max Mascara in Black Noir.
Step 8: I tried Estée Lauder Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipstick Luminizer in Pearlescent on Christina's lips.
Christina wore this bold beauty statement around town and then to work. Here’s what she had to say about it:
How do you typically wear your makeup for day?
I love the Garnier BB cream, plus a little mascara and maybe some eyeliner.
How do you typically wear your makeup for night?
For night I go for bronzed cheeks, plus thicker eyeliner and more mascara. And I add eye shadow—usually black or gold.
What did you think of the runway looks that inspired this beauty dare?
I loved them. It’s outside of my usual look, but I always want to do more color. I just don't know how to apply it.
Were you excited or nervous to participate in this beauty dare?
I was excited because I knew I was in trustworthy hands, and I wasn’t doing the makeup myself. I’m always excited to see what you will come up with next!
How did people react to such bright color on a girl who is usually in neutrals?
The second I walked into work I had at least five compliments. Most comments were, "I love your eyes." But the best was a friend's double take; he almost ran into a door!
Which products could become staples in your beauty bag?
I loved the eye shadow. I also loved the undereye concealer, highlighter stick and face sculptor kit.
What feeling or mood did the blue eye shadow evoke for you?
I'm a neutral girl. Wearing these kinds of colors on my eyes gives me the same feeling as wearing red lipstick or a new pair of pumps. It makes me feel fierce and completely unstoppable!
So would you create this look on your own?
I'm going to try!
Photos: Courtesy of Lauren Cosenza