DRUGSTORE AWARDS: The Very Best "Miami Party Makeup" (and, uh, did I mention I'm in Miami again?)

Answer: No, not until right now. And I am probably in trouble.

Jan 26, 2012 at 9:00am | Leave a comment


Dear Emily and Jane,

By the time you read this I will be on an airplane to Miami. Eeeeeeek.

I am very sorry I didn’t tell you. I got freaked out by the meeting where we talked about how we all have to put things on a schedule and tell people where we are all of the time. I know that it’s a cold day in hell when I come to the office anyway, but there are these new rules now and I already broke them.

I kept meaning to ask if it was cool that I went, but then I was all chicken. And then I rationalized in my head: "I don’t think those new rules from the meeting actually apply to ME."

But the thing about being a team player -- something I really do have the best intentions of being and am trying to be more and more; Emily, stop laughing! -- is that team players understand that if there are rules that apply to everyone else on a staff, they also apply to me.

So, uh, going forward, I will be better. 

If it makes it any better I will be working FULL-time from down here and I’m staying on Fisher Island which is basically like staying in the suburbs, with a family. I mean, I am not actually staying with family in a suburb, but do you know what I mean? Also, I’m only with girls, because I am adamantly pro-woman.

No, joking aside: I really am the worst. And I am sorry!

Contritely (am I using that right? [Grammatically speaking, yes. ]) yours,

Caitlin “Employee From Hell” Marnell ☹

P.S. I will try to call in for the staff meeting at 2 PM but I’m flying private and I don’t know how long it’s going to take. [Private is quicker ]

OK! Well, now that's over with and I'm not even trying to make light of it. I am really am sorry that I’m such a nightmare for my co-workers but I’m just going to soldier on with this Miami-themed story right now. It’s 4:21 am and I have to leave my apartment in an hour, so. Miami!

I’ll tell you guys more about what I’m doing down there tomorrow or Monday, but in the meantime let’s talk about last time I was in Miami. Remember this? And all this? Uh huh. It was bad.

(But I mean, when I am in New York I am always acting up really badly and doing horrible things like bleaching my eyebrows and smearing myself with fake blood or getting stoned with Disney stars. Or whatever. So maybe it's good for me to get out of town!) (No, I still should have asked.)

But I have not been partying at all in 2012 and this trip will not be an exception! There will be no was-it-or-was-it-not ecstasy smuggling, no maybe-ecstasy binges, no bodybuilders, no baby oil, even no graffiti writers on this trip.

This trip is to clear my brain, which as we all know easily goes crazy, and flickers in and out between blackness and blaring full-lights-and-TV-on energy not unlike the electrical wiring of the dumpy Hampton Bays beach shack where I gave my first-ever  nevermind -- but that shack from my young past, during a hurricane.


Yes, this is a working trip (not a vacation) to recharge. I will probably do a teensy bit of partying, but only on Friday and Saturday nights.

On to the beauty!

It’s been a while since I just wrote a straight makeup story, which is what I intended this to be, but of course I can’t write anything the easy way. Let me try: Last month when I was at Art Basel I went to this cool Norwood party I wrote about in the articles I linked to above, and that’s where that photograph of me and my favorite best friend (I have like seven) Same/Jacuzzi Chris was taken.

The best part? I am wearing all DRUGSTORE makeup. When I travel I usually am, because I swear to God, 75 percent of the time I roll a suitcase out of my apartment there is not one beauty product in it.

I always forget my makeup bag! And the irony is that I literally have bags and bags of makeup sitting around my apartment to choose from -- and I just block them out and forget them. I think it’s my brain’s way of saying, “Take a break from all that.” I’ve been cluttered my entire nine year editorial beauty career. (Someone page the the whaaambulance, I know.)

And so I’ve become a real drugstore party-makeup aficionado. It is important to look glam in Miami. And in LA. So I always go a Walgreens and blow $60 or something. I mean, it’s free the rest of the year.

These are the drugstore products that I bought to get my look above:

PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls


I actually just realized that this isn’t technically a bronzer -- it's a mineral face powder -- but maybe that’s why I like it so much. Because I was always using it and being like, oh, amazing, this is the lightest bronzer ever: It just gives you this healthy glow, and you can apply it without looking in the mirror so long as you’re using a big enough fluffy brush.

If you’re using the smaller flat brush that actually comes tucked inside the compact -- which is actually quite good, especially for creating cheekbone definition -- use a mirror. There is one in the compact, so I don’t know why I even bothered with all that “if you don’t have a mirror” business.

When I say it is a “light” bronzer, I don’t mean that it’s only for white people. No matter what color your skin is, this will warm it up. Really a lovely product. Physician’s Formula makes the sickest mass market bronzers in general. You probably knew that already, but just in case.

Maybelline New York Pulse Perfecting Mascara in Blackest Black

I always write the same thing about this product: I was using a $30 French beauté-esque mascara until this one came out, and then I was converted forever. It's inky-dark and super-lengthening, it vibrates ("oscillates," in less sexy beauty-copy-speak), it makes your eyes look Bambi huge, and it is AWESOME. Every person I've recommended it to winds up a convert.

My technique, designed to negate the need for an eyelash curler: Hold it at the base of your lashes, let it pulse there for a second -- this lets the mascara build up a little, which makes your lashes look thicker -- and then swoop it out, more or less horizontally, as in more toward your ear than toward your mirror. Then keep layering. You can use it all day and night and it just keeps looking better. I keep one in every handbag, so I have like nine.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer

I'm a huge fan of this wonderful new-ish (it was a 2011 launch) undereye concealer by...Maybelline again! See, it's so fun directing your own beauty, because you can put two products from the same brand in a story and there are no consequences.

Anyway, this has a round sponge-tip applicator about the size of your knuckle. It's super easy to apply -- you just click it and it sponges out all nice, and then you tap and blend. I have never, ever liked a drugstore concealer before this one. EVER. It creates a really fantastic seamless undereye effect.

And it depuffs and soothes while you blend, and when you are blending it really does have this cool "darkness eraser" effect just like the name promises. Love! Try it!

Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner in Deepest Black


I've written about these before and I always will -- once I'm loyal to an eyeliner, babes, I don't mess around. Prestige pencils are the best: inky-black and dark dark dark; creamy without being greasy; easily smokeable if that's the desired effect, but they make a brilliant crisp line that stays put if you want a cleaner look.

I use this eyeliner 365 days/year, and they cost a mere $4 or $5 depending on where you find them. I love them so much that I've been writing about them since I worked at Lucky; check it.

BONUS POINTS: L'oreal Paris De-Crease Eye Shadow Base



I say “bonus” for this one because it’s for you trill hotties who really wanna go all in with the eye makeup -- and why NOT?! You actually must. Don’t worry about making a mess -- just keep face wipes handy and apply shadows with small brushes and littles taps, clean up as you go along, and do your concealer and foundation and bronzer-y stuff last.

Eye shadow bases are really crucial for a fantastic smoky eye, which is what we are all aspiring to, and where consistency in the application of black (or otherwise dark; I just use one black shade) eyeshadows really counts.

When there is a primer on the lid, the shadows absorb better and stick, so there’s minimal sprinkling of dark mess on the cheeks. Also, the pigment of the eyeliner and shadow will be much inkier and deeper when applied to a primer. Ya heard?

And that’s it! Tell me your favorite drugstore makeup in the comments. And you can also suggest punishment for me. I wonder if HR is reading. Hiii! No, I am not trying to make this a joke! Arg.

Cat's on Twitter being irresponsible @cat_marnell. And the tinted lip balm she's wearing in the picture is Monday by Tarte.