PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY
Beauty Routine: First I begin with Clinique moisturizer; after my lotion has dried, I use Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation in my trouble/discolored spots - mostly my under-eyes and t-zone area. Then I usually use a darker brown eye shadow on my lids and a gold shadow under my brows. I then cap it off with mascara, a Clinique “chubby stick” for my lips, usually in a neutral tone, and a “fatty stick” for my cheeks. If I am feeling extra foxy, I might put some eyeliner on. I top that off with some Clinique “Sun-Kissed” bronzer, and I’m ready for the day. My man-dude calls this my “war paint”- usually because I have all chubby sticks streaked on to my face at the same time. In my dreams, I would like to look like a rockabilly Kate Hudson meets Dita Von Teese, but hitting snooze on a Tuesday morning somehow always wins.
Jersey Trends: I did some observations in the natural setting of the high school where I work (“What are the cool kids doing these days, y’all?”) and also asked this question to my awesome makeover artist, Clarissa. Here is what the consensus appears to be: 1) the Kylie Jenner lip; 2) contouring; 3) bold eyebrows; 4) fake/long eyelashes; 5) being mysteriously tan and bronzed in the harsh, unforgiving Jersey sun; 6) glitter, Lip Smackers and butterfly clips (oh wait, those were my high school trends).
Process: For my makeover, I went to my three-generations strong staple: Clinique. Unlike my beautiful partners in crime, this isn’t my first makeover rodeo. Getting your makeup done was all the rage in Ohio circa 2001 before slipping on that princess dress and grinding to Sisqo with a guy probably named Matt. However, it was my first time asking for a makeover for a women’s blog. Clarissa was so unbelievably relaxed and fun, and when I left I felt like we were just two Jersey girls, conquering the world together. Clarissa had a similar skin tone and hair color to my own, so her tips and tricks were particularly helpful. It felt so good to be pampered and just girl talk for a few minutes on a rainy Tuesday. Clarissa had some incredible guru-like moments; sharing that every woman wants something they don’t have (“Make my lips bigger”; “Make my eyes look bluer”) and doesn’t want something they do have (“Hide my freckles”; “I hate my mole”). Working with high school women, I could easily agree with her, as many of my girls in my psychologist’s chair feel the same way. It starts as young as then, when they are at the age all of us wish our skin and hair could go back to - minus the butterfly clips.
Clarissa shared how she tries to make every woman feel beautiful, as many who arrive in her chair are feeling particularly vulnerable as a stranger stares at your skin in bright white light and microscope mirrors.
For my makeover, she used a color palette that I had not really experimented with — I usually stick to browns and neutral tones, so it was fun to play with purples and violets. Clarissa would become so cutely excited, and didn’t let me see the final product until the end, waiting for the “She’s All That big reveal” moment. I love how light Clinique feels, never layered or caked, which is my worst makeup nightmare. I ended up purchasing the mascara and yet another chubby stick in a cool purple shade I would have never picked for myself. I learned some new tips like where my cheeks actually are and how to attempt to take a selfie. All in all, a really great day appreciating the beautiful women that are my friends and colleagues, watching them transform, and examining the true artists at work that are killing it at our local makeup counters!
Outcome: I loved it! I felt like the most beautiful and stylish woman at the Charley’s Steakery and Subs line. I had had the longest day at work ever, so getting to put my feet up, putting on an extra coat of mascara, eating a teriyaki sub and watching those haggard housewives verbally abuse each other in Beverly Hills was pretty much my perfect night. I did notice just how damn used to browns I am — I felt very purpley in public — and kept thinking, “Do I have a lot of makeup on right now?” as I walked through the mall to my car, but when I caught my reflection in the storefront windows I still looked somewhat natural and human.
Routine: I always start with moisturizer with SPF, a layer of acne gel treatment, two shades of brow pencil or brow powder to fill in my brows which I then shape and contour using a Q-tip and BB cream, and lip balm or lip gloss. I’m really big on eyebrows so as long as my eyebrows are in order I feel comfortable even if I do nothing else aside from moisturizer and lip balm. Sometimes, I’ll apply BB or CC cream with SPF after my moisturizer and gel treatment and/or black or brown eyeliner. I think makeup is really fun, I just usually don’t wear a lot of it. I think part of the reason is because I don’t want others, or myself, to be surprised or alarmed when they see my face without anything on it. Also, I have a serious T-zone situation going on and I think it forces me to take better care of my skin. My face doesn’t seem to respond well to makeup; for example, I really like blush but whenever I’ve made it part of my usual routine my cheeks betray me. I generally only wear blush for special occasions and then I make sure I clean it off as soon as I get home. That being said, I have low-key hoarder tendencies, so I own a lot of eye shadow palettes and lipsticks because when I do wear makeup I want to have options.
Trends: I am a Jersey transplant and I’ve only been here a few months so I am not really sure what the trends are. Additionally, I work with adolescent boys most days of the week and young children the rest of the week and, well, they’re not helpful at all in terms of cluing me in on trends.
However, if Jersey is anything like NYC then some of the trends might be: thicker, fuller, well-shaped eyebrows, bold eyes, bright and/or rich matte lips, and ombre lips. Conversely, minimal makeup (or makeup that makes it look as if you’re wearing less or no makeup) also seems to be on trend. Anyway, most of my sense of trends comes from what I see on social media or the Internet, so who knows.
I personally like that thicker eyebrows are in. My eyebrows are naturally thick - albeit ridiculously unruly. I’m actually building up the courage to let them grow out completely and then, after they’ve fully grown in, tweezing them minimally. Then maybe I won’t be afraid to face the day without brow liner and I could streamline the time it takes me to get out the door in the mornings.
Process: For my makeover I decided to go to the MAC counter. I’ve never had a makeover or had a professional do my face or used any MAC products, but I know a lot of people who use MAC and they always look amazing. So I thought it would be fun to go to MAC for my makeover, plus I had read that MAC had products that worked for darker skin tones. A couple of days beforehand I saved a picture to my phone so that I could show the makeup artist the look I was going for. My face was done by this wonderful makeup artist, Tinisee Buckman. He was vibrant and welcoming and he made the entire process fun. While he was doing my makeup, several customers stopped by and watched him work while he answered questions about what he was doing. The look we had decided on was a very natural spring look. I forgot to write down what he used but I believe it included moisturizer, primer, foundation, blush, nude lipstick, a few shades of eye shadow, black eyeliner for my top lids and brown eyeliner for my bottom lids, mascara, and a brow pencil to fill in my brows. I was laughing and smiling the entire time because Tinisee was so funny. I will confess that I found having someone else apply eyeliner to be really uncomfortable, but I have issues even putting in eye drops so maybe others don’t feel the same way when getting eyeliner professionally applied.
Outcome: I really liked the final product - as did my friends and the customers who were watching Tinisee work. I’ve definitely read makeup counter makeover horror stories, but this was not one of them. The brows were darker than what I’m used to and although I still prefer a lighter color I thought he did a good job with them overall. I feel like the lighting in the picture doesn’t do justice to the job he did but I also guess that’s what you get with a natural look. Anyway, if you’re in the Jersey/NYC area, I recommend looking Tinisee up if you want to get your makeup done and/or learn how to apply your makeup yourself (check www.neonfix.com for some of his work).
My usual beauty routine consists of washing my face in the morning. I usually put on a moisturizer with SPF from Sephora, then I use the double-wear concealer and loose powder from Estee Lauder. I also use their bronzer and mascara. Every month I use a mud mask at home for fifteen minutes, though when I had more time and money I would get a facial with microdermabrasion every month.
Trends: Right now the first trend that comes to mind is dramatic liners.
Process: After the makeover from Kim I felt like I was going to the Grammys to walk down the red carpet! I really loved the eyeshadow and purple liner. She found a way to brighten my eyes and make them look bigger, which I loved.
Outcome: I was very pleased with my makeover and for my best friend’s upcoming wedding I plan on asking the stylist to recreate Kim’s masterpiece!
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.