Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Looks for Fall

***My apologies...Blogger is giving me all kinds of problems with images today!*** When you spend all day writing about something dry and technical, you need a little beauty. Being a “girly-girl” (if indeed I can still classify myself as “girly-girl” at the age of 37), I’m not typical in the technical world. Engineering types are like academics: they believe “serious” people don’t spend time worrying about how they look. Well, I defy convention! I’m perfectly comfortable moving from syn flood and DoS attacks to lip gloss and back again.

My favorite time of year is fall—I’ve been ready for it since June!—so I was excited last week when I saw that Neiman Marcus (and others) had posted the fall looks for some of their beauty lines. If you’ve been reading the blogs, you know there are two basic trends: browns and purples, in a nutshell. For what it’s worth, here’s my take on the beauty looks on Neiman’s site:

This one is my personal favorite, mainly because it’s office-friendly but still polished, and it should work for almost any skin/hair color combo. I liked this one so much that I had to check it out in person. The shadows, Pyrite and Cocoa, are much warmer in person than they seem in the picture. Pyrite is somewhere between taupe and champagne, very pretty, while Cocoa is a warm brown with a little bit of red underneath. The cheek color, Winter Bloom, is a pretty but standard soft coral. If you have the basics in your drawer, this look will be easy to recreate. But let me tell you about the best part: the lips! The lipstick in Amande and the gloss in Campari are simply stunning. Amande is a soft brown with a hint of red underneath, and Campari is a sheer, silky (read: not sticky) gloss in a dark red somewhere between black cherry and Chinese lacquer. Just gorgeous, seriously. The natural lip pencil is meh. It’s a flat brown that removes all color from your lips, and frankly makes the lipstick a little flat and pasty. I’d skip the pencil and apply this directly, or use a better neutral with a hint of color, like MAC Spice.

The cool thing about Neimans is that, should you have the means and desire to do so, with one click you can purchase the whole shebang, sans foundation-type stuff.

shu umera
This one was my second favorite. I love the smoky brown eye that’s not too heavy on liner. And that lipstick is gorgeous. I like the way it carries all the pink from spring and summer forward into the fall. To me, this would be a wonderful look for evening. I mean, if I could apply it. Many of you out there are more skilled than I am, surely; if I tried this at home…well, let’s just say it would probably look like the nurses had let me play with makeup before I escaped from the institution. But if I had a special occasion coming up, I’d drag this picture to a makeup artist in a second.

Christian Dior
This ties for second-second favorite. I love the purples/roses in the smoky eye, again with the softer pink lips. Beautiful again for evening (which might be why they call it “Evening Elegance”), and if I wanted to go for a less neutral look, this would work. As long as I had a makeup artist who knew what was what, and didn’t try to pair this lovely smoky eye with, oh, I don’t know, say, coral lipstick. All makeover type people believe strongly that because I am fair and have green eyes that I should wear purple eye shadow and coral lipstick. Not going to happen. Never.

That said, I went out and found my own version of rose/purple for day at Clinique. This is their Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo in Rose Wine.

Speaking of purple eye shadow and coral lipstick…This look is just this side of what happens to me every time I get a makeover, only more chic and without the coral. The lip color is very pretty. I’m pretty sure we’ll see this eye on the CNN Headline News anchors, most specifically poor Robin. Nothing to distract us from the Israeli-Lebanese conflict like some heavy eye makeup. This is why I listen to NPR.

Bobbi Brown
I covered what I thought of this look over a month ago, when I warned you that BROWN IS BACK. Lucky for us, though, that most of the other makeup lines have a fairly modern take on it, instead of returning to the mud-sucking zombie look of the 90s.

Hm. They are calling this look “Autumn Solstice.” I personally like to call it “Olsen Twin Chic.” I seriously thought that was one of the Olsen twins…had to look very closely to determine that it was an Olsen decoy. But enough funny…with the right coloring, I think this look is very pretty. Brunettes should stay away from this, I think, or they’ll end up looking like the mob wives in Goodfellas. I recently saw this same type of makeup on Miranda on a SATC rerun, and it looked very pretty with pale skin and bright red hair.

Laura Mercier
This look (left) is quite pretty, the colors are nice, but I find it boring. Frankly, she looks like she just came off the stage at a beauty pageant. I don’t bind a more balanced lip and eye, but this feels very 1980s to me.

NARS and Trish McEvoy

***Since I posted this, Neimans has taken down the NARS look. The picture (right) is Trish McEvoy's look.*** Meh. All the colors here are basic and neutral, very nice. You know you’re getting quality. I think the Trish McEvoy look is supposed to be close in feel to the shu umera thing, but to me it’s not as stunning and misses the mark. And there’s something about the NARS model I don’t like, so maybe that takes away from the makeup.

What's your favorite look for fall? Do you change, or stick with the same thing season to season?

*photos from Neiman Marcus