Saturday, 31 October 2015

Last Minute Halloweenish Tutorial-ish | Disney's Descendants: Maleficent

If you've chatted with me at all over the last few months (and if not, why not? Say hi!) then you might know that I have been absolutely loving Disney's Descendants movie that aired in late July. I love Disney, I love Snow White -- how was I not going to love this film? Sure, some parts are a little cheesy or a little corny, but at the end of the day, it's a pretty fun film.

Something that immediately drew me in was the makeup, so my first port of call was to find out who the head of the makeup department was -- and it's Rosalina da Silva! I recognised her name from the credits of Sucker Punch, which is one of my favourite films -- but she's also worked on a heap of other high profile films. If Rosalina's work wasn't enough to inspire this post... the following lady is.

Kristen Chenoweth, aka Queen of All That is Good, plays Maleficent, who was banished to the Isle of the Lost by the Beast and Belle after their marriage, and seeks to use her daughter, Mal, to snatch the Fairy Godmother's wand. Why?

World domination. Duh.

Watching Kristen Chenoweth in Descendants, I loved her makeup so much that I felt compelled to recreate it as best as I could. Some pieces I bought specifically to try and play with, but for the most part I used what I already had in my collection. Halloween is here, and while it isn't really a "thing" in Australia, I know that loads of people love it -- and who's to say that there isn't someone who might want to dress up as Maleficent or go out with a creepy, inspired look?

Now, I have to say it: this look isn't exactly easy.

In terms of technique, it's not very complicated, but I found that I was always going back and forth to layer and re-layer shadows to achieve the kind of depth I was trying to achieve. It's time-consuming and messy -- but hey, sometimes that's what makeup is all about!

To start the look, I began on the eyes first. I know that some guys and girls prefer to do foundation first, but if you're going to use the exact products that I use, begin working on the eyes first. You'll be dealing with Fallout City, and it's easier to clean fallout off bare skin than foundation.

"Let's hope this look isn't a disgrace to the forces of evil." --Maleficent
With my finger, I used the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in "Soft Ochre" all over my lids, smoothing it all over my lids and up to my browbone. I prefer to use this instead of foundation, as others use, because my lids are naturally oily and some of my foundations crease pretty quickly on them. Following that, I took my NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in "Milk" and drew it over my lids, making sure that I took it just under the crease. It might 'stick' a little bit, over the top of the Paint Pot, but this will help the shadows stick and keep their colours true. With my ring finger, I blended the eye pencil out, taking it out over my crease but lightly -- and not too far out.

Kristen Chenoweth's eyes are kind of... large but deeply set (I don't know, I can't describe her perfection). Her cut crease can be carved out to look really sharp. Mine, unfortunately, cannot -- not with my skills -- but to give them more of the illusion that I can, I dipped my Rae Morris Deluxe Point Shader Brush into "Mousse" from the Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette and swept it into my crease, to provide some light definition so that I know where I'm contouring my lids. Following that, I used the same brush and went into "Puddin'", to deepen the crease. I used a relatively light hand, but was careful to build it up, using the tip of the brush to take the shadow right along the entire crease of my eye.

"Do I at least get a close-up, mortal rabble?" --Maleficent
"This isn't what I meant by close-up." --Maleficent
There will likely be some of those colours on the lid -- but that's okay, we're covering it up! With a flat shader brush, I used the Klara Cosmetics Shimmer Eye Shadow in "Metallic Peacock" (No. 28) all over my lid, stopping just under my crease. It's a kind of violet-blue duochromatic shade that, while creamy to touch, is naturally rather more sheer with a brush than a finger, so you'll need to pack it on to build it up. If you have the Makeup Revolution Give Them Nightmares palette, the shade "Pretty Zombie" is a pretty close dupe, albeit somewhat less pigmented.

We don't want to take this shade quite to the crease because it's just a base colour, and we don't want it to transfer too high up if we can help it. Over the top of it, with the same side of the flat shader brush, I packed on "Mezzanine" from the Kat Von D Chrysalis Eye Shadow Palette, which is a really glittery, shimmery violet. This shade is the very reason why I cautioned earlier against foundation: Fallout City. Try to remember to tap off your brush before you apply, but if you're like me and forget to, be careful as you apply. You will undoubtedly get some on your nose and cheek, and while you could hold a piece of tissues under your eye to catch the fallout, it's much easier to just take a big fluffy brush and sweep it off your skin.

After cleaning up any glittery mess on my face, I went back to the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette, and built up "Puddin'" in my crease with my Rae Morris brush further again, so as to not lose the contour of my crease. I noticed that it caused some of the violet to fade, however, so I went back to the Kat Von D Chrysalis Palette, using the same flat shader to pack "Mezzanine" all over the lid, just up to the crease. Then, with the Mecca Cosmetica Domed Eye Blending Brush, I dipped lightly into "Hybrid Moments", a kind of blackened burgundy plum, and began to lightly build it into the crease, being careful to keep it in there and not really wing it out too much.

So much work for such simple results - no wonder my face looks grumpy.
"Let's get the focus back on me, the mistress of all evil!" --Maleficent
Time to add some glittery glam. I'm fairly certain that Kristen Chenoweth had some kind of loose pigment or glitter on her lids, but I didn't really have anything like that available to me (or my purse), so I decided to improvise. First, I rolled NYX Roll On Eye Shimmer in "Purple" onto the back of my hand, so as to dispense the shimmer there instead of straight onto my lids; I then used my finger to pat it all over my lid, stopping at the crease. Following that, I did the same with the Napoleon Perdis Loose Eye Dust in "Violet Femme" -- using my finger to pack it onto my lid from the container. If you have a violet pigment or glitter, you might want to consider using that instead; the Loose Eye Dust isn't quite a pigment, it's much finer and naturally sheerer.

To deepen the purple in the crease, I used my blending brush to dip back into "Hybrid Moments" from the Kat Von D Chrysalis Palette and built it up. Of course, while scrutinising the many screenshots I took of the film to try and gage colour, I decided that Kristen Chenoweth's crease looked a bit darker, a bit blacker -- and although it could partly have been the lighting, I decided to do something about it anyway. With the same blending brush, I very lightly dabbed the Klara Cosmetics Matte Eye Shadow in "Sexy Black" (No. 3) into the crease, just enough to deepen the colours without overwhelming them. I didn't want a black, super smokey crease, because Maleficent doesn't have that -- I wanted just enough to add more definition without taking away from the purple.

Naturally, of course, that means I need to add more sparkle, so I rolled the NYX Roll On Eye Shimmer over the back of my hand again, this time applying it more over "Hybrid Moments" towards the outer v of the lid. To add some inner corner highlight, I dabbed the Napoleon Perdis Loose Eye Dust in "Fuchsia Shock" in the inner corner of my lid -- it looks really pink, but translates to essentially the same shade as the earlier-used "Peacock" -- before using a Mecca Cosmetica Eye Contour Brush to dab "Transition" over the top of it (from the Kat Von D palette), and then layering "Fuchsia Shock" over the top of it again with my finger.

Now come a really technically tricky bit: the eye liner. Maleficent's liner isn't big or bold, but it's there. I noticed that it appeared to have a very, very thin line at the outer end, which thickened slightly over the lid before tapering out again into a very, very thin line in the inner corner. To achieve this, I used the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in "Trooper" -- you could use any reliable pen liner, but one that is reliable and has a very fine tip. I began by drawing the thin line on the outer part of my lid, drawing it towards the tail of my eyebrow and stopping at about my crease, as though I was starting to draw a large wing. I began the actual wing between a third to a half of that line itself, keeping it close to my lashline and then building it up slowly. I didn't want the liner to be all that noticeable, but I wanted a nice, even line. I tried to continue the liner into my inner corner, keeping it with the natural curve of my tightline. You definitely need to be the tortoise with this, especially if you're new to it -- slow and steady gets the best results!

From that, I went back into "Mezzanine" from the Kat Von D Chrysalis Palette with the tip of a flat shader brush, and smudged it along my lower lashline. There's a bit of darkness to Maleficent's lower lashline, so using the NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wearing Eyeliner in "Via Veneto", I carefully drew along my lower lashline. I did not make it smudgey or smokey. I did not line my waterline. I was careful to stick to the edge of the lashline.

Maleficent clearly lies purple mascara, and the greatest thing about purple mascara is that it looks black on dark lashes unless the light hits it just right. I applied two generous coats of the Sephora Full Action Extreme Effect Macara in "Purple" to my top lashes -- I left my bottom lashes as they were because I found that trying to apply anything to them ended in disaster. I applied Chi Chi's Super Lashes (not pictured) as close as my upper lashline as possible, then gave everything another coat of the Sephora mascara to mesh it all together.

Phew! What a marathon! -- But onwards, to the face!

Maleficent is so done with eye shadow.

I found Kristen Chenoweth's skin to be very flawless and just a little glowy, so I began by priming the apples of my cheeks, my chin and the centre of my forehead with Benefit's That Gal Primer. Then, with Benefit's High Beam, I placed two small dots along the top of each cheekbone, to add a little extra glow under my foundation, and blended it out with my fingers.

To get my skin looking as flawless as possible, I reached for CoverGirl's Ready Set Gorgeous Liquid Foundation in "Classic Ivory", and applied it all over my face with a Kit Cosmetics Blender Sphere to give it an even, slightly more dewy finish. I don't really like dewy foundation as a rule, but Maleficent's face didn't look matte to me, and using the Blender Sphere really gives me a dewy finish that I really enjoy.

Maleficent is famous for cheekbones that could slice cheese, so to try and emulate some of that I decided to do my contouring with... a foundation brush. If you have cream contouring sticks, then I'd stick with those (ha ha ha, see what I did? Okay, bye.) but I do not have such items, so I improvised. I gently but firmly swept the top of my Napoleon Perdis 19B Artist Foundation Brush into my MAC Bronzing Powder in "Matte Bronze", and then drew lines on my face where I wanted to contour -- the same as you would with a stick. It's important to make sure that you're not loading too much product onto the foundation brush at once -- you can always add more if there's not enough -- but you don't want to look as though you've obviously drawn on your face, and you don't want to make blending it out a chore.

I drew lines under my cheekbones, at my temples, and along the top of my hairline -- all the normal places that you would normally contour. At the centre of my forehead, I lightly drew a kind of widow's peak, to emulate the peak in Maleficent's cap and add some dimension to my face; I emphasise that you need to do it lightly because you'd look weird if you had a full on brown triangle on your forehead. I used the EcoTools Custom Coverage Buffing Brush to buff the bronzer into my skin.

It doesn't seem as though Maleficent has any blush on, but I decided to nevertheless very lightly apply Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in "Luminous Flush" to the apples of my cheeks with a blush brush. Using my Rae Morris Pro Powder Brush with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, I lightly dusted "Incandescent Light" over my cheeks to add a light, luminous highlight, before going into "Dim Light" with the same brush and loosely dusting it over the remaining areas of my face.

Why use the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette? So I can take the shade "Triple Fudge" and fill in my brows!

To one of Maleficent's most distinguishing features: her lips! I used my Rae Morris Lip Brush to line the edges of my lips with the NYX Wicked Lippie in "Betrayal" to ensure a crisp application, filled in my lips from the tube, and then smoothed it all out again with the same lip brush. Finding the right kind of lipstick can be tricky -- you want a dark purple (not plum) with black undertones and some sparkle. I sometimes felt as though Kristen Chenoweth had glitter or sparkle on her lips as well, but that was probably just me.

And that completes the look!

Was that a marathon, or was that a marathon?

I'm sure that, had the financial odds been in my favour, I could've put together a method that was way less painstaking than what I've detailed above -- and if you have any shortcuts, be sure to suggest them in a comment!

Is Halloween your thing? What are you dressing up as?

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Versatile Blogger Award

Many, many months ago, I was nominated by the absolutely gorgeous Jessica from Kaleidoscopes & Polka Dots for the Versatile Blogger Award. I was absolutely stunned to be nominated for something like this, because while versatility is something I always strive to achieve, I'm never entirely sure that it's a place I get to. Regardless, thank you so much, Jessica, I seriously appreciate it!

Here are how the rules go...

  1. Show the award on your blog.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you.
  3. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other blogs.
  5. Link your nominee's blogs and let them know.

7 Facts About Me

1. I only tend to ever own one pair of jeans at a time -- and I usually wear nothing but jeans all year round, so I feel like I go through them quicker pretty quickly.

2. I also only usually wear flats -- and the same pair -- so I go through them really quickly. I only replace them once they're about to literally fall apart on my feet and I'm pretty much walking barefoot -- and the quickest it's taken me to get through a pair is six weeks.

3. I am a Jane Austen nutter. If there's an adaptation, I've seen it.

4. I'm really, really lazy about washing my hair. I just find that I can't be bothered at the end of the day, so I'll intermittently use dry shampoo until I look at it and go, "Yeah, no, wash it. Now."

5. I used to be an archaeologist -- kinda. I was doing an archaeology degree for a while, and even travelled to England to do fieldwork (and when you're doing fieldwork, you're referred to as an archaeologist).

6. I have the unfortunate yet delightful talent of being able to pick up accents with relative ease. I already lean towards sounding British, but it gets stronger the more nervous I am.

7. My hair was pin-straight as a little girl, a fuzzy mess when I was a teenager, and now as an adult it's got a curly/wavy Hermione Granger thing going on.

And the blogs I nominate are:

  1. Danielle || Confessions of a Beauty School Dropout
  2. Emma || Peace Love Vintage
  3. Eli || Marshmellow's Diary
  4. Iqra || The Blushing Giraffe
  5. Carmen || Paint, Powder, and Polish
  6. Amy || Lust for Beauty
  7. Sarah || Sazbomb
  8. Bess || Bess Oates
  9. Hannah || Hannah Butterworth
  10. Krista || Love, Krista
If any of you above have already been nominated for this award in the recent or distant past, I apologise! It was hard to get together a list of fifteen blogs, which is the main reason it's taken me as long as it has to get this post up and running online. Please be sure to let me know if you take on the award and nominate other blogs!