Saturday, May 25, 2019

FOTD: Red Lipstick, No Mascara

Makeup artists have this incredible ability to make awe-inspiring looks appear easy and manageable. In this age of YouTube, Instagram, and blogs, we have more access to these artists and their work than ever, including tutorials they make themselves. Over the past year, there's been one oft-repeated suggestion that has stuck with me: skip mascara.

"You know," the makeup artists say coyly as they brush up their models' already-perfect brows, "you could leave the eye makeup here. With skin this glossy and perfected, and with brows this full, you could totally skip mascara." Some of them add, "With a red lipstick, this would be so chic and Parisian," which always makes me cringe a bit because it taps in to an idealized, fetishized, commodified woman who doesn't really exist. After that cringe, though, I'm basically sold, because red lipstick. I'm a simple Pittsburghese woman.

As dramatic as it sounds, I've been trying to do this for months, and I just haven't been able to do it. I'd spend a solid 20 minutes perfecting my base makeup and brows, then I'd put on my bright lipstick and tell myself, "Okay, you're done." But I always caved and brushed on some mascara before I left the house. I just felt weirdly incomplete without that mascara.

Today, I forced myself to put away the mascara. And I have to be honest: I kind of like it. It's nice to know that the only things I'll really have to touch up are a dash of undereye concealer and some post-dinner lipstick. There won't be any black smudges or smears or flakes.

Accepting my nearsightedness actually makes me like this look even more. With my very necessary glasses on, you can't really see much around my eyes EXCEPT for my brows--you'd have to get damn close to see my lashes behind the lenses. I've been thinking about buying a few more pairs of glasses and treating them like fashion accessories in and of themselves; skipping eye makeup and pairing them with a strong lip color seems like a great way to emphasize both the lipstick and the glasses.

That said, I'm not going to toss out my mascara any time soon. I still love the look of full, dark lashes, especially if I wear winged eyeliner or glossy shadow. But I'm glad I've finally listened to the makeup artists and tried the sans-mascara look.

BASE: MAC Face & Body Foundation in C1 + White; YSL Touche Eclat High Cover Concealer in 0.75 Sugar; Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Finish Powder Foundation in 50 Ivory [D/C]; Clinique Moisture Surge Spray
CHEEKS: NARS Liquid Blush in Orgasm; MAC Strobe Cream in Pinklite
EYES: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Medium Brown
LIPS: NYX Lip Pencil in Auburn; Shiseido Modern Matte Powder Lipstick in 516 Exotic Red

ETA 5/26/19: I completely forgot to post about our recent donation--I'm so sorry! With your help, we donated $20.04 to the DNA Doe Project this month. Thank you so much! This summer, I'd like to collect donations for Planned Parenthood.


  1. I love this but it only works if you don't have blonde eyelashes, such as myself

    1. Honestly, I like this look even more on people with blonde lashes and brows. I think it's really graphic and editorial!

    2. My greatest, albeit extremely expensive, solution to blonde lashes is Serge Lutens Cils Celophane mascara. It's like a natural colored translucent gloss for lashes. There are a few tiny fibers and it's waterproof. Also, since it's barely colored, there's not risk of smudges. It makes lashes look wet and slightly darkened, like you've just risen out of an infinity pool.