I love this collection for the nerd factor alone. It is inspired the English Tudors, “an imperial court mired in salacious scandal and royal indulgence“. Hopefully this collection will make somebody somewhere learn a thing or 2 about history or at least make it cool to be nerdy, which it is. The collection contains the following limited edition items, many in special packaging.

FACE: There is a Fusion Blush. This cheek color has a matte and a shimmery shade packaged together. The shade is Regal which is a great nude peach pink blush and it retails for $32. This is a good color because it doens’t overwhelm when paired with a bold or smoky eye.

EYES: There are 2 Reign Eyeshadow Palettes in Majesty which contains a highlighting peach, opulent plum, and black and there is Monarch which contains a golden highlighting shade, rich bronze, and neutral taupe brown. I think Majesty would look great with green, brown, or hazel eyes. Monarch is a nice neutral for all eye colors. These contain the same shades in matte and shimmery formulas.These retail for $42. There is a Jet Set Eyeliner Palette in Reign. This contains four long-wearing cream eyeliners in black, brown, gold, and bronze . The gold and bronze both wear nicely on the bottom lash line and make the eyes appear brighter and more “awake”. This retails for $48. There is a Reign Lash DNA Mascara in Plum. This retails for $19. I love a plum for fall/winter.

LIPS: There is a Lip Gloss in Crowned, a warm peachy nude. The packaging is adorable. It retails for $19. There are 2 Doubletake Lip Colors. These are a pencil with a lip liner on one end and a longer wearing lipstick on the other. There is Amaretto and Currant. These retail for $22. Amaretto is really nude, a pink nude combo that is great for a smoky eye. Currant is what the name applies. I like this product because it is convenient and portable plus it doesn’t look dry.

I like the collection event though I am pretty much over the smoky eye. I think the lip colors are really nice in this collection and I do like the “idea” behind it. It is a little odd really, but I like to think of it as the makeup that all of Henry VIII’s wives wore while A. having affairs with other unattractive men or B. being beheaded. Find out more about royal scandal on wiki. This collection is available at Sephora and smashbox.com.

Just in time with America’s newest obsession with India, thanks Slumdog Millionaire, there is Givenchy’s Maharani Spring 2009 collection. It is inspired by the “sensual and refined beauty of Indian women”. Wow, that isn’t generalizing. Don’t get me wrong. I believe that Indian women deserved to be in the spotlight, Indians do in general. Especially Indian Americans who make up a large population in the U.S. and who are rarely seen in the media. India is a very “exotic” place to most Americans. They mainly think of spicy food and hot Bollywood babes. But, generalizing groups is always a very dangerous practice. Creating looks on a “culture’s ornate clothing and makeup” is a bit generalizing. But, at least it is a bit positive. I mean what country doesn’t want to be known for its beautiful women? I’m sure most want to be known for their great values and minds, but hey this is a makeup/fashion company we are talking about here! We’re selling an image only. Lancome did the India thing this past fall. I liked Lancome’s ad because it had a lovely lady of color. Plus the bronzes and oranges together were lovely. I guess some almost positive press is better than none.

FACE: There are two Sari Glow Iridescent Blushes. There is Maharani Orange which is a golden peach glow and Maharani Pink which is a pink glow. Both retail for $42. There are two Prismissime Eye and Face Compacts. There is one in Maharani Apricots. It is filled with nine bronzy browns, warm tans, and perfect peaches. There is Maharani Pinks filled with nine summer tans, pinks, and taupes. Both retail for $53. I do like both of these because they are multi-functional and the possibilities are endless.

EYES: There is a Magic Kahal Eye Pencil in Black. This is a super dark and thick black pencil. It retails for $21.50. There are two Precious Sari Glittering Eyeshadow. These are gel/cream shadows that pair nicely with bold lips. There is Maharani Silver and Maharani Gold. These retail for $26.

LIPS: There are two Rouge Interdit Satin Lipsticks. There is Maharani Rose which is a deep but bright pink and Maharani Henna which is a deep brick red. These go for $27 and have lovely packaging.

Overall the collection is a “hot” and “spicy” with magentas and corals. It is pretty enough. I like light, sheer metallic eyes with bold lips. That is a look I usually go for in the summer. However, I think the looks could of had a better ad campaign. There is something for both warm and cool skins. Everything is housed in ultra luxury Givenchy packaging. It’s pretty but expensive. And it kills me that the company is idolizing Indian women and I am sure that they don’t even offer a foundation, concealer, or powder in a shade that will suit most Indian ladies.


So I really don’t expect for many people to go out in this. I sure wish I could but even I have limits so I am giving an “everyday” interpretation of this look. I must add that I have a bit of a Liz Taylor as Cleopatra complex. I love the makeup. I wear this much many days if you exclude the wild brows. I love the blunt bangs. And I would love to wear the braids and beads if I didn’t end up looking too much like Rick James. I love the jewelry. I collect snake jewelry and I would dare to wear a snake cuff on my flabby arm.

To get this look you need a super matte face. Apply a powder foundation like MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in your shade. Apply concealer where needed. Try a full coverage like Beneft Boi-Ing in your shade. Brows are filled in and dark if you so desire. For black Cleopatra brows, apply Billion Dollar Brows Brow Powder in Raven, a soft black. Apply a nice shadow primer like Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin. Pat gently. I would go with an eyeshadow palette like Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Ludwig available at Sephora. Apply Downtown which is a medium brown shimmer from lashline to brows. Take Baroque, a bronzey brown shimmer and apply from lashline to just above the crease and blend. Take Lucifer, the matte charcoal black, and blend into the crease and down with a very heavy hand. (I must add that these shadows are pretty nice quality and make for lots of nice smoky, Cleopatra eyes). Now to the heavy amounts of black eyeliner. I recommend a gel formula like Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink. Line the top eye with line and extend as far as you feel comfortable with. This line should be pretty thick when applied above the lashline. Line the bottom lashline with the gel liner and extend until it meets the top extended line. Join the lines together for that special Egyptian inspired look. Apply false lashes or tons of mascara to complete the eye look. Cheeks are super nude. Apply a sheer nude powder like Sonia Kashuk Beautifying Blush in Nude. Lips are nude and matte. If you have a warm skin tone apply Revlon Matte Lipstick in Nude Attitude. If you have a cool skin tone apply Lipstick Queen Oxymoron Matte Lip Gloss in Defeaning Silence. You may want to apply a clear lip balm before you wear such a nude shades to keep lips from looking too splotchy. Fragrance should be luxe and exotic and that is why I would recommend L’Occitane Eau d’Iparie EDT.

I kind of like this collection because at least Lancome is trying to be edgy with their new Spring 2009 Color Story. It is bold but it is pink which every makeup collection has offered this spring. But, at least this is trying to have some “attitude”. It is inspired by the Piha Volcanic beaches of New Zealand, doesn’t look very Xena to me. Pink Irreverence is supposed to “push the boundaries of beauty”. I don’t know about that since this look as been done a million times before. It is very Deborah Harry and it is very every fashion magazine in the early 80’s. Pushing boundaries,  I think not. Pretty while being bold, yes.

EYES: There are two new Color Design Eyeshadow Quads in Irreverent Madame and Mademoiselle Sass. Irreverent Madame looks so much like the singles that Lancome already produces. It has a pale white shimmer, pale pink shimmer, bold magenta, and a sparkling glittery black. All of these are already offered by Lancome. In fact I have a GWP mini eyeshadow quad that looks identical to this. Mademoiselle Sass is the nice warm tone look with a honey shimmer, champagne shimmer, bronze shimmer, and a chocolate brown. These retail for $42. Will the prices ever stop going up! I remember when these were $30. There are two Color Design Pro Cooling Gel Illuminator for Eyes and Face that retail for $20. Think a more expensive and less expansive version of Maybelline Cool Effects. There is High Expectations and Hard To Get. Both are shimmery and pretty neutral gold/bronzes. There are two Laque Liner Long-Lasting Eyeliners that retail for $25. I like Artliner better but these are OK. There is Pure Black and Pure Sparkle, a glittery liner. There are 5 Le Crayon Khol Waterproof Eyeliner that go for $23.50. The quality is pretty nice and wears for a long time. There is Irreverent Brown (dark brown), Rebellious Berry (a medium cranberry that a dyed redhead like myself could rock), Blanc Audacity (eye opening white), and Confidence Noir (a pitch black).

FACE: Two sheer Blush Subtil blushes have been featured. There is High Maintenance for cool skintones and looks and Extravagance for warm skintones and looks. Both retail for $29.50.

LIPS & NAILS: There are three Color Fever Lipsticks in Mademoiselle, Forget Me Not, and Pink Attitude that retail for $25. All are shimmery and sheer to be worn with bold eyes. There are four La Laque Fever Lipcolors that are really nice. They are shiny and shimmery and long wearing.  They go for $26. I love Electric Pink which is a bright Barbie pink shimmer. There are Optical Rose (pale pink shimmer), Lucent Nude (light warm bronze) and Iridescent (pinkish brown shimmer). There are four Color Fever Plumper Lip Gloss that retail for $29. There is Fuschia Flaunt (shimmery berry), City Mauve (shimmery neutral), Downtown Pink (rosey shimmer), and Rose Punk (pale pink shimmer). There is the awesome Color Fever Lip Gloss in Piha Black which is a sheer volcanic ash black shimmer that looks great alone or worn over other colors to deepen them. Retails for $25. There are two cool Le Vernis Nail Colors in Sassiness which is a super pale posh pink and Piha Black which is a silvery shimmering black. Both retail for $18.

Overall the collection is fun and contains a few nice things. I can’t get over how much Lancome’s prices have went up. I like this look but I am kind of sick of it at the same time. I did wear this look out a few years ago so it just doesn’t feel “new”. I also feel it only would look good on blondes and really dark hair. No mousey browns or redheads allowed.


This is the classic hottie look. Long blonde hair and too much black eyeliner. Neither look good on me. The haircolor being worse than the eye makeup on my complexion. I guess that is why I envy this look so much. I can’t really pull it off and I feel I can pull anything off. Smear some red eyeshadow on me or safety cone orange blush on my cheeks or black lip gloss. I can do that but I really can’t do this Bardot look. I still try. When I line my eyes like this, I just look insane. Alot like this gal is today. Just kidding. I believe in the freedom of speech and whatever she says is her prerogative if I agree with it or not. I don’t fine, that is the just the French government.

Anyways apply a tinted moisturizer for this look and concealer where needed.  Try a warm tinted moisturizer like Lancome Aqua Fusion Teinte in a shade darker for a sunkissed look. Apply a bronzer if needed. My all time favorite is NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna. Apply with a huge fluffy brush like Sephora Bronzer brush all over the face. Brows are super natural and messy but not too messy. Apply a clear brow gel like Revlon Brow Styling Gel in Clear. Apply Dior 1-Colour Eyeshadow in Ready To Beige all over the lid. Brush Dior 1-Colour Eyeshadow in Khakis from the lashline to the crease. Apply more or less depending on your skintone. Take a solid black and smooth eye liner pencil like Dior Waterproof Crayon Eyeliner in Trinindad Black, and line all the way around the eyes. Apply a thicker line on the upper lashline and still use a heavy hand but a thinner line on the bottom lashline. Apply tons of black as tar mascara or false lashes. Apply mascara to the bottom lashes as well. Cheeks are very bare. Reapply bronzing powder to the cheeks for extra depth. Lips are nude with just a bit of glimmer. Apply Lancome La Laque Fever in Neutral Current all over lips. Fragrance is simple and elegant so I recommend an intimate fragrance like Crazylibellule and the Poppies Solid Perfume from Les Divines Alcoves in Presque Nue.

   

I love Tura Satana. She is the reason for my haircut. She is one of my favorite style icons. She is one lovely bad-ass, the queen of the 60s B-films. One thing that Tura rocked other than ass kicking moves, the perfect body, blunt bangs, and an amazing attitude, was the heavy black liner. Every time I use a heavy hand with black liner, I think of Miss Satana’s oh so delicious evil look.

There are a ton of black liner formulas on the market. They all have a time and a place. I love khol and pencils for smudging and gel and liquid for that harsh unmovable cat eye.

Swivel Sticks/Retractable: Swivel type liners are so easy to use. You don’t even have to sharpen these babies. They usually wear longer than most pencil liners and they come in unmovable waterproof formulas. It produces a precise line. My favorite budget one is Avon Glimmerstick in Blackest Black. This one goes for $6 and usually is on sale for much less. My more expensive choice is Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof in Noir. This one sells for $23.50. Other notable pencils include: mark Eyemarker Color On Line in Jet for $5.50 and MAC makes a very nice one for about $14.

Wooden Kind/Sharpen: These are a much softer formula that can be smudged for a khol rimmed effect. These need sharpened and can create either a paper thin line or a fatter line that looks wonderful with shadow layered over it. My favorite budget one is Jordana Eyeliner in Black. It sells for .69¢. I was seriously surprised by this product. The quality is actually really good. The more expensive one that I prefer is the MAC Eye Pencil in Ebony which retails for $13. The other note worthy liners in this category include: Estee Lauder’s Artist Pencil in Softsmudge Black for  $18.50, L’Oreal Le Kohl Pencil for $8,and NYX Long Pencil in Black for $2.

Long Wearing Sharpening Kind: These are usually budge proof and set within 30 seconds. They are easy to use like the retractable liner but these have the benefit of creating a thin or thick line just like the softer wooden types. The budget one that I prefer is Sephora Flashy Liner in Black for $8 . I really love the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide Eye Pencil in Zero. It is very long wearing. It retails for $16. Other notable ones include: Dior Waterproof Crayon Liner in Trinidad Black for $25, Prescriptives Moonbeam Eyeliner in Reflective Black for $17.50,

Cake Eyeliner: These are solid powders that when mixed with water create a matte (typically) long wearing, crisp line. Just wet a liner brush of your choice and swipe of the powder. I love this stuff because it is really classic. Plus I love my art store liner brush so much. It just works for me. I love Clinique Water-Resistant Eyeliner in Natural Black and it is the cheaper option at $14.50. My more expensive fave is Laura Mercier Caviar Eyeliner in Midnight Caviar which goes for $22. Others that are nice: NVY ECO Organic Cake Liner in Black which is $24, Elizabeth Arden Dual Perfection Brow Shaper & Eye Liner in Black for $18, or wet NYX Single Eyeshadow in Black for $5

Liquid Liner: Liquid liners are long wearing and create a very crisp line. It is that classic cateye look. These come with fine brush tip applicators and pointed sponge tip applicators. The handles vary so this is a matter of preference for what works best for you. Personally I like the sponge tip kind. I can create a more even line, either fatter or thinner. My favorite budget sponge tip liner is L’Oreal Telescopic Precision Eyeliner in Carbon Black which goes for about $9. My more expensive favorite sponge tip applicator is Lancome Artliner in Noir which retails for $28. (L’Oreal’s is almost identical to Lancome’s for much less.) The budget brush type that I like is NYX Liquid Liner in Black for $5.  The brush type I like is Clinique Eye Defining Liquid Liner in Black for $14.50.  Honorable mentions: Almay Liquid Line in Black for $7.50, MAC Liquid Liner in Boot Black for $16.50, Estee Lauder Double Wear Liquid Liner for $19.50, Covergirl Line Exact Liquid Liner Pen in Black for $6.50, and Manic Panic Dreamliner in Raven for $9.50.

Gel Liners: Gel liners are pretty fool proof and look more natural than liquid liners. They are long wearing and don’t take too long to dry so you don’t have to worry about smudging. However, these can be smudged right after application for a soft look. I like these too because you can choose which brush you like. Some people like stiff slanted brushes and others like softer, narrow brushes. L’Oreal HIP Cream Eyeshadow  Color Truth in Black for $12 is nice but for $3 more I really love  MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack for $15. Other nice ones include: Cat Cosmetics Gel Liner in Tomcat for $18, Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Liner in Midnight Black for $22, and Bobbi Brown Long Wearing Gel Liner in Black Ink for $21

Cream Eyeshadow used as liner: These aren’t as smudge resistant or long lasting but they do define the top and bottom lashes nicely. You can smudge with a smudger brush or line with a brush. You can use your fingertips too for a messy look. These are nice for beginners because you have more control and it is easier to remove mistakes. A nice cheap option are the darkest shades in Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow in Precious Metals or Twilight for $6.50.My more espensive choice is Dior Diorshow Eyeshadow in Glam & Glitz Black for $30. Other nice ones: NARS Cream Eyeshadow in Zardoz for $21,

I also love Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl Liner for $33. It is a loose, OK, a messy powder I admit, with a pointed plastic stick for an applicator. It looks very raw an wild and has such a seductive dagger as packaging. I’m sold. Rimmel has the Smokin’ Kohl Eye Shadow in Black for $7 in way less glamorous packaging if that matters to you. I also noticed that L’Oreal HIP has launched a khol dagger also, but I am unsure of the price.

It’s difficult to discuss all the black liners out there but these are a few that I have used and really liked. Each have their own persoality and look. So try your each formula so you can find your own unique black liner look.

So who says we can’t take Robert Smith’s look and well, feminize it for our girly selves. I personally love it that he sports red lipstick. It sure is more striking than black lipstick on his alabaster perfect skin. First, skin should be even and pale. Apply concealer where needed. If you need foundation apply that too. Apply a fun powder such as Papier Poudré powder sheet in White. It kind of mimics a nice gothic complexion without being startling. Brush brows into place with a clear brow gel or brow wax such as MAC Brow Finisher in Clear. Apply a matte white eye shadow from lashline to brow bone such as Manic Panic Powder Eyeshadow in Virgin. Line eyes with a nice, thick black eyeliner like Benefit Bad Gal. Line the upper and lower lashline with a heavy, messy hand. It’s a very Liz Taylor as Cleopatra cateye, ancient Egyptian look. Apply black mascara or apply false lashes. Lips are lush and red. Line lips with a red lip pencil. I don’t care what anybody tells you. Red lip liner is a must. Line lips with Manic Panic Lip Liner in Vampire Red (this also doubles as an interesting eyeliner.) Apply a cherry, pure, blood red lipstick with a hint of satin, something like Milani Velvet Lips Lipstick in Red Carpet. Apply a nice coat of clear lip gloss. There are tons of these on the market and for a cheap price Maybelline Shiny-Licious Lip Gloss in Berry Clear isn’t too bad. Robert has decided to go blushless. That’s OK. I would love to slap a nice hot pink hue on his milky white skin but I don’t think he will let me. Tossle hair into a ragged mess and blast with aerosol hairspray if you dare and but on a nice sultry unisex fragrance like Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur de Male. So, it isn’t unisex but it might as well be, just like this look.