You Beautiful Rule-Breaking Moth: Makeup Looks Inspired by the Compliments of Leslie Knope

Let's celebrate Amy Poehler's 45th birthday with two looks born of her 'Parks and Recreation' character's delightful way with words.

I feel a deep affinity with Parks and Recreation's Leslie Knope. As a woman with deep-seated worries that I might be actually really annoying and definitely a teacher's pet, seeing a woman like Leslie onscreen for the first time was deeply validating. While I'm not quite the Type A organizer that Leslie is, I definitely identify with her shrillness, her excitability, and her love of breakfast food.

The thing I love the very most about her is her obsession with friendship. Leslie Knope is one committed friend. The woman invented Galentine's Day! I also am not-so-secretly obsessed with the friends in my life, particularly the women. I love girl time. I completely believe that all my girlfriends are the smartest, most special people in any room, and if I could do their nails and braid their hair for them every day, I totally would.

Everyone knows that Leslie's best friend is Ann Perkins, and some of the best running jokes on Parks and Recreation are her elaborate and wonderfully bizarre compliments. Ann is a beautiful, sophisticated new born baby. She's a beautiful unicorn nurse. She's a cunning, pliable, chestnut-haired sunfish (side note: sunfishes are nowhere near as cute as you would expect them to be).

So when Maura did her lovely Modern Family tutorials and a commenter mentioned they always enjoyed the makeup on the ladies of Pawnee, I knew exactly what I had to do. Herewith I present to you two makeup looks based on Leslie's compliments for Ann.

The beautiful rule-breaking moth

Turns out that moths are more than just dusty brown pretend butterflies. Some of them, like the Rosy Maple moth, are actually super-cute! When I saw this pink and yellow beauty, which can be found in Leslie's home state of Indiana frequenting parks and gardens, I knew I had found my inspiration.

For this look I used the Morphe Picasso Palette, which is an affordable way to get some bright colors into your makeup collection. While these shades are not going to be instantly amazing out of the pan, with the right technique, they can still deliver lots of color.

I started by priming my eyes and then applied a good amount of the white eyeliner.

I started to build up the yellow base for this look by patting the shadow all over my lid. Then I grabbed a fluffy blending blush and blended the edges of the color across my crease.

Before moving on to the bright pink, I applied more white pencil on the inner and outer thirds of my eye.

Over the top of the white pencil, I blended the bright pink. You want this to be nicely blended and soft, and if you find the yellow and pink blend into orange, just apply a little more of each when you're finished blending.

I wanted some soft definition, so I chose a burgundy rather than a black liner for my waterline. I used Colourpop Creme Gel Liner in Best O, and finished the look with lots of mascara and a baby pink lip: MAC Lipstick in Pink Nouveau.

According to Wikipedia, the musk ox is an Arctic mammal noted for the strong odor emitted by the males during the mating season.

Readers, have you ever come across a less promising sentence in an xoVain article?

After distracting myself for a few minutes Googling pictures of adorable baby musk ox, I got to thinking. The longer you look at a musk ox, the more you can appreciate their distinct charms. I decided to go with a deep brown smoky eye, offset with white and gold liner to reflect the swoopy horns of these noble beasts.

I started with some seriously strong brows, which seemed appropriate. I filled them in with NYX Tame & Frame Brow Pomade in Espresso and then brushed them into bushy perfection with Maybelline Brow Drama mascara.

I started by applying the Sleek shade Negroni all over my lid and smoking it out into my crease and towards my brows with a fluffy blending brush. I took the same shade and smudged it along my lower lash line. Next, I added a little bit of Prosecco across my brow bone.

To take this to a brilliant, powerful place, I took a white liquid liner and drew a cat eye with a long wing. Then I took Champagne from my Sleek palette and dabbed it on my inner corner and along about a third of the white line for an ombre look.

Finally, I applied mascara and a full-coverage base. I skipped blush and finished with a cool pink-grey lip from Potions Cosmetics on Etsy.

So there you have it: two makeup looks inspired by Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins, Queens of Compliments, Ovaries before Brovaries, and Forever Friendships.

  • Which of Leslie's compliments is your favorite?
  • Have you ever done a makeup look inspired by an unusual creature?
  • Anyone up for a Lil Sebastian hair tutorial?