Forever Young

There are few memories I have as a child when I wasn't playing dress up.  Whether it was shuffling around my mom's closet in her high heels, tearing though boxes of old costumes at friend's houses, or forcing my less-enthusiastic boy-friends in kindergarten to play house with me, there were few recreational occasions when I wasn't imagining myself as the sophisticated lady I hoped to one day grow into.  And in fact the other day I realized that I, like most girls I know, have yet to really grow out of that stage.  Sure, during the work week I have my usual morning make-up routine - wash face, moisturize, mascara & lip balm, repeat.  But on the weekend I get to explore - playing around with various eyeshadow palettes, trying on lip stick colors to match my mood, and creating hairstyles that take much longer than the 5 minutes I have in the morning, Mon-Fri. So this particular weekend, spent lounging on the vineyard with friends, was the perfect occasion to revisit that old dress-up act and experiment.  Melissa and I started by finding pictures of looks we wanted to re-create, such as this colorful look that is a perfect compliment to the spring-time pastels that colored the runways of this year's SS12 fashion shows.

Note - because we were hanging out at her house all night and had no where to go that would warrant a look as glamorous as this, I created a much more subtle look on Melissa using the above photo for inspiration.  I'm thinking for a future blog post that I will try to recreate this more dramatic look on myself, as it really is gorgeous but just warrants a slightly fancier evening than what we had in mind on this particular Saturday night.

To achieve the look, I started with a neutral eyeshadow all over the lid - I used the Nars "All About Eve" palette, but any color in the nude/sand family would work just fine.  NB: Always, always, always apply a primer to the eyes before applying shadow.  It helps the color to last much longer and prevents creasing.

Using a thick lavender eye pencil (though lavender eye-shadow would work well too), I drew a generous line across the top of Mel's lids, and blended with a blending brush to soften.  I then drew a darker line along her bottom lashes using an electric blue pencil, and blended again.  Next I applied a touch of African Violet eyeshadow from the Laura Mercier Spring 2012 Eye and Cheek palette (available at sephora.com) and, using an angled brush, I dotted over the liner on her upper lids.  This gave her eyes a slightly more intense purple with just a pop of shimmer, because the African Violet shade has these gorgeous flecks of gold in it that I absolutely love.  To finish I used a nude eye pencil (my favorite is the Nars Larger than Life long-wear eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte) along her lower water-line.  Using a nude eye pencil on your water line has the wonderful effect of removing any redness around the eyes, making them appear larger and brighter.  After defining her eyebrows and applying a bit of mascara - voila!

Beautiful, no? The purple and blue together just really made her eyes pop, without all the drama of the look we found online. Following Mel, Paoro and I tried a liquid eyeliner look on her that was really stunning.  However, I'll save that tutorial for another post! For now, here are a few other photos Sam took during our experiments:

I imagine I'll be using my "La Mode" space quite often to conduct various beauty DIYs...so let me know in the comments section below if there are any looks you'd like me to recreate!