Valentine's Eyes and Cheeks

There are so many great examples of Valentine's makeup, but since many of my favorites seem to focus on pink or red lips, I created a couple of looks that highlight the eyes and cheeks. Whether you're going out for a romantic date or, like me, having a movie marathon with family, pizza, champagne, and cupcakes, both looks are quite wearable (aka no fake lashes) and require little makeup elsewhere.

The first look is inspired by Cara D. (tan and perfect bone structure optional, clearly):


1: Primer, tinted moisturizer, concealer where necessary

2: Set face and eyelids with powder

3: Apply a dark shade of shadow underneath lower lash line and in crease (MAC Embark)

4: Tap a slightly lighter shadow in the same color family onto lid (MAC Folie); using a windshield-wiper motion, blend both shadows together with a clean brush, then line eyes

5: Mascara, fill in/set brows, and add a little bronzer to cheek hollows and perimeter of face

6: Add a little concealer to lips, then lightly line with a neutral pencil so they don't disappear

This second look is freakishly easy, but it made my husband do a double-take since I rarely wear blush (visit this post for ideas on what colors look best and where exactly to put said blush):


1: Primer and foundation/tinted moisturizer/whatever you use; set face and lids with powder

2: Add a bit of bronzer or light brown shadow to eye crease; line eyes

3. Brows, mascara, and a neutral lip (or concealer trick mentioned above)

4: Tap on tons of bright blush that works with your skin tone.  NYX Cosmetics offers several wonderful options at great prices!

Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Blush: Apples vs. Bones

Where exactly does one put blush? Shown here, I stick to a coral shade applied to where my cheek bones stick out the farthest.  Super makeup artist James Vincent notes that if you’re using red/pink shades, put it more towards the front of the face so it gives you a flushed, ski bunny effect.

For an all-inclusive tutorial that I adhere to religiously, Mr. Wayne Goss gives an incredible and definitive list of blush placement options here.

Not really a blush girl myself, my favorite powders are from NARS in Orgasm and Gaiety, and my favorite creams are from NARS and Make Up For Ever because of their consistency, blendability, and longevity.

Five-Product Challenge

Folks ask for my top five makeup products…but I rarely have an answer because I’ve been known to use around 20 different products (tools not included). For a challenge, I tried a makeup look (I actually liked) with only five makeup products.  It was fine, but since I couldn’t use anything to set my makeup, this look won’t last all day.  If you want to be a naughty rule-breaker and add powder and/or setting spray, this would be a perfect Minimalist or Work Appropriate.

Here’s the breakdown:

I applied tinted foundation with an SPF using my fingers and dabbed concealer around my eyes and nose, then blended cream blush onto my cheeks and lips.  Next, I used a dark brown eyeliner to my lash line and smudged, then used the same pencil to fill in my brows.  I really wanted my bronzer to contour, but I remembered a technique from this video (@ 5:50); so I used my liner instead.  I dotted a little liner down the sides of my nose and smudged using the same brush used on my eyes – then I used the residue on the brush to draw around my cheek bones and jawline.  Finally, I curled my lashes and added mascara.