This blog was written and ready to post Friday morning. We’d spent the week collecting images from Anne Hathaway’s many U.S. promotional appearances, and the New York and London premieres of the final Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.” And when we woke at 5:00AM EST to launch the blog, post to Facebook and Twitter, and send out the Constant Contact e-blast, we instead watched the news in stunned horror, and knew this particular blog was simply not appropriate. A beauty blog is not the forum to make any sort of commentary on the situation; already, we have watched with disgust as people with agendas (whether political or simply for publicity) have hijacked this tragedy for attention. As a nation, we must set aside whatever prejudices and opinions we may have, and simply come together in support of the community of Aurora in the wake of this senseless tragedy. Our deepest and most heartfelt sympathies and prayers are with everyone touched by what happened in the early morning hours of Friday, July 20th.
That left us looking at other events for inspiration – Comic-Con and the 2012 ESPY Awards. As we started going through the literally HUNDREDS of images available from just these two events, a few things became evident.
1. When did Comic-Con become the place for celebs to get dressed up in designer dresses? When we started going through the images filtering in, we went back and checked again because we thought we’d somehow put in the wrong search criteria. It looked more like the red carpet for a major industry awards show – not the place where we could find fanboys with light sabers, dozens of Princess Leias, Wolverines, zombies, Princess Mononokes, the chick with three breasts from “Total Recall” — the Verhoeven AND the Len Wiseman reboot (which explains Kate Beckinsale’s presence but not why this throwaway walk-through was deemed so fab that it bore repeating) — and every other fantasy costumed fan.
Instead, we had Jessica Biel in Thierry Mugler, Kerry Washington in J. Mendel (looking SO MUCH BETTER than her appearance at the BET Awards; we really do think Kerry must have been under the weather that day), Ginnifer Goodwin in Valentino, Emily Blunt in Christian Dior, Nina Dobrev in Jenny Packham, Ashley Green in Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta, Michelle Williams in Guiletta, and Nikki Reed in Etro, just to name a few.
Only Mila Kunis, Kristen Stewart, and the aforementioned Kate Beckinsale really kept with the spirit of Comic-Con in jeans and a black cami and blazer (a mix of Theyskens’ Theory and Rag & Bone), a white tee and a BCBG Max Azria neon-yellow-and-white high-waisted mini skirt with black and silver high-top sneakers, and Rag & Bone silver tuxedo jacket and leather pants, respectively.
So, we decided to skip Comic-Con, because at the end of the day, only Mila Kunis rocked some cool eye makeup, and we made an executive decision, as explained in #2.
2. The ESPY Awards. First, we define, because unless you are a huge sports nut, you may not know exactly what the ESPY Awards are celebrating unless you have the proper chromosomal combo (i.e. not the far superior Double X). An ESPY Award (short for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award) “is an accolade presented by the American cable television network ESPN to recognize individual and team athletic achievement and other sports-related performance.“ Around since 1993 (who knew?), the ESPYs follow the traditional format of the Grammys (for music), Emmys (for television), and Academy Awards (for film) and are hosted by a contemporary celebrity; the style, though, is billed as more relaxed, light, and self-referential than those other shows. This year’s host was actor/comedian Rob Riggle, of The Upright Citizens Brigade, The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live (TV), and feature films The Hangover, Talladega Nights, the 21 Jump Street reboot, The Other Guys, and Step Brothers.
Then, we make another pointed observation: what’s with all the non-sports celebs on the ESPYs red carpet? We get that Hayden Panettiere dates football player Scotty McKnight and that singer Willa Ford is married to the captain of the Dallas Stars NHL team Michael Modano. But we’re at a loss to explain the presence of actresses Connie Britton (“Saturday Night Lights”?), “Magic Mike’s” Olivia Munn and Cody Horn, Zooey Deschanel, Jessica Biel, “Dancing with the Stars’” Cheryl Burke and Karina Smirnoff (because it’s kinda sporty?), Victoria’s Secret model Chanel Iman, and others. These ladies are routinely photographed after being worked over by professional makeup artists and stylists, and more than a few of them are frequently on magazine covers. So, we’re excluding them in favor of real athletes who looked gorgeous and sexy, thereby heightening the impact.
The night’s “Best in Show” were undoubtedly the woman who’d just won The French Open and that night’s “Best Tennis Player” Award, Maria Sharapova, in a pleated, heron-blue silk chiffon J. Mendel gown and metallic Jimmy Choo sandals, and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn in a deceptively simple cream-colored Marciano gown with a plunging neckline that perfectly offset a stunning Atelier Swarovski necklace. These women’s athletic builds make them perfect mannequins for couture gowns – in our opinion, more so than the often-augmented actresses who usually end up getting to wear these confections.
Maria’s lightly tousled updo and hazel-green eyes are well-complemented by her lightly bronzed eye makeup. It’s nothing overly smoky or too dramatic, but the coppery/bronze tones bring out the same flecks in her irises for a really striking look. You can achieve a similar effect using colorOn’s Bronze Goddess from Eye Envy Precious Metals Variety Kit, confining the application to the eyelid and crease. Take a slim, round-tipped eye shadow brush and dip it in the bronziest shadows left on the applicators’ cover film, and line under the outer third of the lower lashes, sweeping upward at the outer corner and blending it with the application on the top lid to form a subtle winged effect.
Curl your lashes and apply plenty of mascara (brownish-black if you’re blonde like Maria, or black if you’re a brunette or darker). Maria’s brows a full and well-groomed; she’s a BrowPro Full Light. In keeping with Maria’s very natural-only-better look, add a dusting of matte bronzer to the tops of the cheekbones, the temples and down the center of the nose (where the sun would naturally hit). For a long-lasting nude lip, line with a lip-colored liner and fill in the entire lip, then add a slick of honey colored gloss on top — we’re big fans of Vapour Organic Beauty’s Elixir Lip Gloss is Sultry 302.
We’re used to Maria Sharapova cleaning up so well – all her endorsement ads make great use of her statuesque beauty – but Lindsey Vonn is truly a Cinderella moment! The drop-waist Marciano gown has an amazing cut and genius seaming, accentuating just how fit this athlete really is yet remaining totally feminine and flowing.
Wearing her hair down and in loose waves, with that stunning necklace, we felt like Lindsey was literally the belle of the ball. In keeping with her “princess” look, we suggest recreating her subtle and shimmery eye makeup with colorOn’s Platinum and Pearls from the Metallics Variety Kit, but confine the application to the eyelids and up into the crease. Be sure you get plenty of the shimmery platinum shadow blended all the way to the inner corners of your eye, bringing it down and smudging it below the lower lash-line as well. You can use your ring finger or a brush to do so. Then line the inner rims of the upper and lower lids with a shimmery olive/brown pencil (for Lindsey, this really accentuates her hazel eyes; choose a liner that works best for you – a plummy brown for green eyes, a golden brown for blue, any of these choices for brown eyes). Add lots of mascara; Lindsey is wearing some well-applied faux lashes, and that’s a choice you’ll have to make. We’re completely inept with them, so it’s not even a consideration.
Lindsey is very blonde, and her brows quite sculpted and filled. We suspect that as a skier constantly exposed to the sun reflecting off the snow, her brows get very light. She’s a perfect BrowPro Medium Light. A light application of matte bronzer accentuates her healthy flush, and a warm nude-pink gloss completes her look (try Vapour Organic Beauty’s Elixir Lip Gloss in Hush 301.
Both she and Maria Sharapova look healthy, strong, and naturally beautiful. We are filled with envy! We never feel this way about the other celebs looking just dandy – Olivia Munn in her slinky Armani, Hayden Panettiere in her sparkly Armani, Jessica Biel in ANOTHER white dress (Dior; like we need reminding that she going to be a bride soon – enough already!), Zooey Deschanel in sparkly Oscar de la Renta, Cody Horn in her zipper-y Cushnie et Ochs, and on and on. Eh. We want to look like we can take on a mountain and win, not like we can afford a month at a spa and all the “neuromodulators” – that’s the new term for Botox and fillers, ladies and gents – to keep us smooth, plump, and expression-free.
Danica Patrick is another sports figure we have become used to seeing outside the arena and a bit “tarted up’ for her GoDaddy.com endorsements, among others. That’s not to say that she didn’t look wonderful at the ESPYs in a strapless cocktail-length dress in a pink silk scarf print (and matching peep-toe platform pumps) that looked very much like an Hermes or Versace print, yet exhaustive searches could turn up no reference to the designer. Reviews were mixed on the dress, which was highly structured with a boned bodice and an architectural flared hip (which has us leaning to Versace). The shade is gorgeous with her coloring, and her trademark waist-length chocolate waves were loose and sexy.
Danica kept her makeup simple, with a smoky brown eye and glossy pink lips. You can create the same subtle eye look – one suitable for day or evening wear – by using colorOn’s Gypsy from the Eye Envy Precious Metals Variety Kit, a metallic gradient of frothy white shading into rich mocha. She brings the application all the way from the upper lash line to the brow bone, and you can use a thin eyeliner brush to grab the deepest metallic mocha hue from the clear cover film to line below the lower lash line. Curl your lashes and add plenty of black mascara to the upper and lower lashes, then line the upper and lower inner rims with a bronzed brown eye pencil.
Danica has nice, full brows that are minimally manicured but groomed and lightly filled. She’s a BrowBro Full Dark. Like our other athletes, Danica opts for a healthy glow using a matte bronzer and a close-to-nude lipstick, although it has a sheer satin finish rather than the traditional lip gloss the other are sporting, and is much more of a pink shade. We like Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick in Possess 418, described as a “sexy adult pink.”
Finally, we have snowboarder Jamie Anderson, who caught our eye with her dress, which given her X-Games persona we most definitely took as a tongue-firmly-in-cheek homage to the warm-up jacket, pockets and all. Albeit one made of golden/coral sequins and cut down to there. It totally suits her personality, and our only “criticism” – if you want to call it that – is that her round-toe black platform pumps just don’t do the outfit justice. A sandal or a wicked pointy toed pump in chocolate or bronze would have been a better choice. Just saying.
But Jamie’s slightly goofy, infectious character carried the whole thing off (she was shooting peace signs and mugging for the camera – what Hollywood star would make FACES for the paparazzi, we ask you?). Her long, sun-streaked blonde hair was loose, as casually styled as the rest of her outfit.
Jamie’s makeup, in keeping with her peers, was natural-only-better. Funny how three of our four athletes have hazel green eyes! Even Danica’s seemingly brown eyes are green around the edge of the iris when you pull in for the tight close-up. We wonder if the constant peril and adrenaline rush has a correlation?
Anyway, back to Jamie. You can get the same golden look with colorOn’s 14 Karat instant eye shadow applicator from the Metallics Variety Kit, confining the application to the eyelid and crease. Take a slim, round-tipped eye shadow brush and dip it in the deepest golden shadow left on the applicators’ cover film, and line under the lower lashes, flicking it up just a bit at the outer corner. Curl your lashes and add the appropriate mascara to your upper and lower lashes – choose a blackish brown if you’re blonde like Jamie so it’s a softer look. Line the upper and lower inner rims with a russet/copper pencil, which will pick up the undertones of the matte bronzer you’ll dust along the tops of your cheekbones.
Jamie wear her brows as full as the rest of this crew, but hers are very light and could have used a bit more filling in with even this subtle amount of eye makeup. BrowPro is a quadruple threat – it colors, defines, shapes, and holds. Jamie is a BrowPro Full Light. To complete Jamie’s look, a quick slick of a sheer copper gloss is more than enough with all the shimmer and sparkle she has going on. We like Paul & Joe Beaute’s Lip Gloss in Byzantine 001.
All of the colors mentioned in the blog can be chosen and combined – along with BrowPro — into a Custom Kit, or you can buy the Variety Kit in which they’re featured. Either way, same price. Need a tutorial? Watch the video on the website for application tips and tricks.
The Teen Choice Awards are happening right now, so we’ll be back this week with all the highs and lows. And are we the only ones who feel Justin Beiber is trying WAY TOO HARD to gain some cred? We smell a publicist behind the supposed “fight” with (now) a second paparazzo, the speeding, the breakups and makeups, and the whole “I could take all five at once, but I could kick any One Direction-ers butt one-on-one with my kung fu.” Uh. Huh. Our mums could kick Beiber’s butt. Each on her own, with one hand occupied. Let the flaming begin, Beleibers.