When you’re a beauty editor people are constantly asking you -- politely and cheerfully and totally not obnoxiously -- to do their makeup.
"Sure!" you probably think most long-time beauty editors would say (actually, most of them do react this way and are into doing makeup on other people -- same with doing hair).
“I'M NOT A MAKEUP ARTIST!” I usually scream before I can stop myself -- it's a jerk reaction. “I JUST WRITE ABOUT MAKEUP! I JUST KNOW WHAT THE BEST PRODUCTS ARE! IT DOESN'T MEAN I'M SKILLED AT THE MAKEUP...CRAFT! I DON’T KNOW HOW TO…DO IT TO YOU! NO! I CAN'T! I WON'T! ACK! NO! I'M SORRY! I JUST CAN'T!"
“Uh,” the person who wanted makeup usually responds to this crazy-paranoid reaction. “Okay. Whoa.”
You see, at a magazine where I once worked for a very long time, and where I loved working, I had an editor in chief that I really, really, really loved. And I mean adored.
But she didn’t like to do her own makeup. So when she needed something done, she came to the beauty department to have it applied for her.
Usually my boss the beauty director took care of it, or one of the other editors – who were actually pretty good.
But once in a while, I was the only one there.
“Marnell,” Editor In Chief would say in her very cool (have I mentioned how obsessed I was and still am with her?!) way, “I need makeup. I have a date.”
“Oh, no,” I’d stutter (this happened most often the year and a half I was an assistant and stayed later than anyone else). “Oh no no no! You don’t want me to do that.”
Then the psychological…uh, I guess, torture game – would begin.
“You don’t want to touch my face, do you?” Editor In Chief would say, maybe purring a little bit. “It’s okay. You don’t have to touch me.”
“No, it’s just I’m so bad at makeup!” I’d squeal.
“Oh, it’s alright,” she’d smile. “I’m not forcing anyone to touch me that doesn’t want to touch me.”
This EIC– a completely down-to-earth and wickedly funny person -- knew how to quietly and sweetly toy with the psyches of the staffers she particularly liked (and she loved all of us in the beauty department) to get what she wanted. It was also her way of paying special attention to you, so…
“I WANT to touch you!” I’d finally cry out, as Editor in Chief maybe-pretended to drift away. “No, come back!” And then I’d get her special makeup kit from the beauty closet, sit down with her in my boss’s office, and proceed to take her from barefaced-lovely to completely awful in about three minutes flat.
Oh no, I'd be thinking with each jerky brush stroke -- with each hideously misplaced contour. Oh no oh no oh no.
“Marnell!” she’d say, looking in the mirror a few minutes in at her splotchy, lopsided bronzer stripes, wobbly mismatched eyeliner, and way too-white and unblended undereye concealer. “MARNELL! What are you DOING to me?! You really are TERRIBLE at this!”
And then she’d vanish down the corridor to her office to wash it off in her private bathroom, and I’d start breathing normally again.
(The best part was always the next day, when my boss the beauty director was in the office and the Chief would come over to our area. “[Beauty director],” EIC would say, “You should have SEEN what your assistant DID to me last night.” Etc.)
Anyway, this is a very long, rambly way of telling you all that I am not good at putting makeup on anyone, and not even myself – except for, at this point, black smoky eyes, but even then it’s better when I go to a pro, because the SECRET to the best smoky eyes in FALSE LASHES.
Most crucially – and this really kills me – I can’t apply lashes to myself. And I LIVE for false eye lashes!
So when I’m going to have a big weekend – and I always am – and want to have hot smoky eyes, I go to my favorite dude at Sephora and he uses the following on me (and I only have to pay for the lashes – cheap!) to give me the look above, which is my favorite: a little trashy, and black-on-black, bitch!
Let's do this:
SEPHORA COLLECTION FLIRT-IT LASH DUO
NOW. This here is the "hero product" in this story, as we say in the biz (ugh; sorry).
There are so many false lashes to choose from at Sephora these days and I'm telling you, choose THESE, the excellent in-house brand's Flirt-It Lash Duo! Then have someone put them on you, and then they will do the rest of your eye makeup anyway and you will only have to pay for these, which are cut to be perfect for you.
To make them last, after that first night out, use dabs of the glue you get in the kit on a Q-tip to re-seal before you go to bed -- then press it on your lid with the flat handle end of a tweezer or something. Then re-glue in the morning a bit. They should last until at least the next night that way.
This isn't a makeup artist trick or anything; it's just something I do.
At the risk of sounding like I’m talking about a (no-so-remarkable) dick, I love a chubby! Though I’m always losing the damn sharpener. I actually don’t OWN this Givenchy one (yet – JULIE, help!) and I go to Sephora just to use it like literally every time I walk by one (yes, I clean it off first) (most of the time).
My makeup dude always uses it on me for my inky smoky eyes like in the photo above (swear, that photo was taken mere hours post-all-this-makeup, literally). It’s creamy and soft and you can use it on sensitive inner rims; then it bleeds out just softly and perfectly enough to give you a sexy-smudgy look.
MAKE UP FOR EVER MATTE EYE SHADOW IN 04 BLACK
Finally, my Sephora dude smudges the whole thing up with a short-bristled shadow brush, tapping on matte black shadow and sweeping it around a little bit. Almost any will do, but I believe he is particularly fond -- as most make up artists are -- of Make Up For Ever.
So do you like my sexy look? Or maybe it’s a slutty look: you can look at my pic and judge accordingly. Whatever it is, I like it! Do you? And as ever, share your favorite products (and false lash application secrets, please?) in the comments!
Cat's looking all Taylor Momsen-y on Twitter @cat_marnell. Swag?