I’ve been looking at the white-based makeup in my collection lately, thinking about how to take advantage of its best properties while steering clear of its pitfalls. The neatest thing about white-based makeup? It really stands out against the skin! The worst thing about white-based makeup? Well…it really stands out against the skin.
One of the great things about modern, highly blend-able makeup textures is that they can make all kinds of colors and shades very forgiving–even flattering–on the skin. If the idea of makeup with hefty dose of white pigment makes you think of the pasty-peach lipsticks of the past, the good news is that things have progressed. We can enjoy the big color boost that a touch of white provides, without the risk of chalk or paste.
For this look, I chose fluoro-pink shades–bright pinks with a hefty dose of white–for lips and cheeks. These particular fluoro pinks are in extremely forgiving textures, which I think makes them extra-wearable. I paired these pinks with soft brown and beige shades on the eyes.
Here are a couple of swatches of the lip and cheek shades. I couldn’t figure out how to get the eyeshadows to swatch without wetting them (and I really hate to wet my eyeshadows–it’s not that I don’t like the look, I do, I just feel as if I’m ruining the powders!):
I’ve really been digging the Laneige Water Tints. They feel more comfortable to me than the YSL Glossy Stains, and they smell a lot better, in my opinion. I’m enjoying a bit of gloss these days, after fleeing gloss a few years ago on the grounds that it was dated, sticky, and a bit wan and lacking in pigment next to, say, a full-on, classic lipstick formula. The newest gloss/stain formulas seem very comfortable to wear and wear down to a nice, long-lasting stain–but, of course, a similar effect (probably a more interesting one!) can be gained by staining the lips with a bright lipstick and slicking a bit of gloss over the top. This particular gloss/stain has a fair bit of white stirred in, but it sits in a jelly-like base, so the white seems to act mostly as a brightness booster–while the overall formula lets the natural pigmentation of the lips shine through.
For the cheeks, I chose a YSL pot blusher that is again a warm-leaning, bright pink with quite a bit of white mixed in. These YSL pots have been discontinued, I believe, in favor of the new Kiss & Blush cream formulation, but there are many, many alternatives in both cream and powder formulations. I think one of the complaints about these pots is that they’re so full of silicon–and therefore so blendable–that they could easily blend away to nothing in an instant. But that blend-ability is one of the things that makes this particular bright, fluoro pink so easy to wear. It does pop against the skin quite a lot, but one of the nice things about exploring fluoro pinks in these modern textures is that I think that they would work on darker skin tones. When blended, they don’t come across as pasty or opaque to me–just rather bright–so some version of these might be worth exploring for people with medium and dark skin tones, who would otherwise stay away from anything that threatened to create an ashy tone.
Regarding the eyeshadows…well, suffice it to say that they are very neutral. I enjoy using this quad to shade and contour around my eyes in a subtle way, but any number of other shadows would do just fine. I was looking rather specifically for some subtle shimmer around the eyes, though…just because it’s getting a bit lighter as the seasons change, and I decided I wanted a bit of shimmer to pick that up.
I did consider pairing this lip and cheek look with a bit of black, flick-y eyeliner and a little bit of matte eyeshadow to contour the socket line a tiny bit–and in fact, I ended up trying out that look for a dinner out, just because it was on my mind. It was a perfectly fine look–I could imagine that some of you might actually prefer it to the warm, neutral eye that I’ve proposed here. In the end, though, I thought that these fluoro pinks and the flicky black liner were competing with each other a bit too much. The overall look didn’t feel as balanced as perhaps it should. In the coming weeks, I may go searching about for pinks and peaches that feel really right to me with a black liner. If I discover anything noteworthy, I’ll be sure to share that with you!
Finally, I wanted to propose a version of this look with less-expensive, easier-to-find drugstore (and Target) products. Would the effect of these products be exactly the same as the fluoro pinks I mention above? Well, no. But who cares? lol. I just don’t want to give the impression that I think the exact products (or even shades) matter. In fact, some of the best glossy stains around are the Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balms; these have really nice texture, pigmentation, and shine (the bright shades are especially pretty). I find I prefer these Revlon products to YSL Glossy Stains many times over. Silicon-based, highly blend-able creamy-liquid blushes are also everywhere. These L’Oreal Visible Lift Blur blushes seem to me like a high-end product at a drugstore price. On the eyeshadow front, this Pixi quad could do the subtle, shimmery neutral shadow job just as well as the Chanel quad; I could easily see many people preferring the Pixi product to the Chanel one.
And a couple of swatches, so you can get a feel for the lip and cheek products:
These shades don’t have quite as much white in them, but their textures are very, very similar to the Laneige and YSL products–and many people might find these colors even easier to wear and more flattering. It’s all a matter of personal style, mood, preference, etc.
And that’s the product set for this super-wearable, fluoro-pink look! Can’t wait to show you how I wore this (although I’m convinced that any one of you would wear it better! lol). In the meantime, I wish you all a lovely day.