Saturday, March 17, 2012

In which our heroine goes to MAC and goes green

The last time I came in direct contact with a MAC counter was in a Neiman Marcus in southern Florida that smelled like CA$H MONEY without Lil Wayne and tear drop tattoos.

HOWEVER. I decided this morning that I needed (no, not wanted; needed-like-I-need-oxygen-NEEDED) a white matte eyeshadow.  Actually, I decided this a few days ago, but Sugar Pill was out of stock on their website and I had some meltdown about the possibility of having to go to a cosmetics counter and most if was of the WHAT IF THEY JUDGE MY MAKEUP!? variety .  So the meltdown part was already out of my system, WHY NOT.

They did not judge my makeup.  They put my eyeshadow in this:

That's an 8x11 sheet of paper next to it (and a nail file...yeah, I got nothin') and my little eyeshadow on top.

Clearly, MAC hasn't concerned itself with environmental conservation, so to make up for the damage I've done to the environment in the 10 seconds it took for me to make the purchase, I did this:

Keeping it as concise as possible because READING IS HARD:
1. Conceal and prime your lids
2. NYX Milk Pencil from lash to brow.
3. Build MAC Gesso shadow (which I will pretend means "matte white" somewhere in the world) over lid until it is opaque.  This is applied with a damp brush.
4. Cut crease with Urban Decay Bender (forest green) applied wet.  Blend upward.
5. Urban Decay Midnight Cowgirl (pale champagne with glitter) applied dry on brow bone.  Blend downward into green.
6. Using a damp brush, apply Urban Decay Skimp (another white, but with more shimmer) along arch of brow for a highlight.
7. Urban Decay El Dorado (yellow-gold) applied dry over the white of MAC Gesso on lid and blended lightly into crease.  I lined under the lower lash using a wet brush.
8. Using Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner in Midnight Black and an angled eyeliner brush, I lined along the top lash for a bold line, then a softer line underneath, and joined them together at the outer corner.  I brushed El Dorado over liner lightly to soften the look.
9. Benefit They're Real! mascara in black on bottom and top lashes.
10.  Because I am a bad ass, I filled my brows.  I use Urban Decay Brow Box in Honey Pot.

And voila:

I have been an Urban Decay shadow loyalist for years (though I do find the purple packaging garish, that is neither here nor there and has nothing to do with the product) and resisted MAC for a long time because the idea of the MAC counter almost terrified me.  Irrational, unjustified anxiety? Sure, just like EVERY OTHER ANXIETY IN MY LIFE.  Using their shadow for the first time, though, I know I have developed another product to covet.  It is highly pigmented and you can build the color up without too much frustration which are two of the biggest things I look for in eyeshadow.

Despite the green, we all know this did nothing to make up for MAC's disregard of the environmental conservation movement, and no matter how hard I try, I don't think Urban Decay's production of vegan shadows really absolves me of all responsibility.

I would be willing to live in a tree and see if I could repair the hole in the ozone myself if I had enough MAC shadow in Gesso.  I'd love to tell you that has anything to do with socio-environmental responsibility and BEING THE CHANGE but really, I just want free makeup.  Urban Decay, Too Faced, MAC, I HOPE YOU ARE LISTENING:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

ULTA, or how I found the promised land.

So, I live in a city that seems to think we need a Sephora, but only as of 5 years ago, and the closest ULTA is almost 2 hours away. I go on the online and hear all about the wonder that is ULTA, but it wasn't until I went to visit my good friend Erica in Syracuse that I got to meet ULTA.

Do not stop at GO, do not collect 200 dollars, no bathroom or food stops, I was going to ULTA.

I walked in, and the sky didn't open and there no angels singing, but I like what they've done with the place. There was more makeup than one can shake a stick at (if one has a stick to be shaking; I do not). See, no stick:

Sephora is my second home, mostly for the selection and because it's slightly less threatening than places such as the MAC makeup counter, which make me feel low class and nervous. ULTA is more department store than makeup counter, and I can see someone who knows the basics being able to go into ULTA and discover some new products without running out like they just walked in on a surprise gang bang. They've ditched the head-to-toe black that makeup counters (and by extension, Sephora) have traditionally favored, split the store into higher-end products and more typical drugstore lines, so it has more of a something-for-everyone feel. Sephora has a more vested interest in the makeovers (50 dollars, but it comes with a 50 dollar gift card, so it's a break even with some tips and product for you, and a break even guarantee for them to move some product out and probably get you back in the store in the future). ULTA seemed to have more promotions and discounts, too. I picked up a promo makeup bag for spending over 75 dollars, and it's mediocre; if I had to go with one of the store's brands to recommend, I would say Sephora's is more what I look for in my makeup. But by removing the harsh black lines, overzealous makeup pushers, pretty but non-functional displays, and stage lighting, I think ULTA may have a hand in pushing people from the Duane Reade Maybelline display and into Sephora when it comes to their makeup.

Bringing decent makeup to the people, man. It's a beautiful thing.