Oh, make me over

Browse any drugstore and you will find several eyeshadow palettes that are curated specifically for an eye colour. This one will make your blue eyes pop! This one will bring out the rich tones in your brown eyes! You get the gist.

As someone who likes to take all the help she can get with makeup, I would always give these a once over and search for a palette dedicated to making my grey eyes… be the best grey they can be. However, never have I ever found one. I’ve seen several ones for green eyes which I thought were rarer than grey eyes, and the ones for blue eyes do not translate to grey. Are grey eyes not as common as I thought? Is there a secret vendetta against those of us with cloud-hued peepers? What do you want grey eyes to do in terms of popping or enriching?

Since the jury is still out on that secret vendetta, I decided to do some research and put together some colors that are either scientifically sound via a colour wheel, or are shades that I – a person with grey eyes – have had success with. Grey has so many shades, it was hard to try and encompass them all, so get ready for some trial and error. For what it’s worth, the shade of my eyes is dark grey but they do have the grey-specific ability to look different shades when I wear certain colors or during diverse weather.

gray eyes

The general consensus and advice from beauty and design blogs was as follows:

  1. Purples, blues and greens will bring out the blue tint to your grey eyes.
  2. Warm browns and peaches will highlight any flecks of hazel if you have any (I don’t, sadly. That sounds like a lovely combination!)
  3. Greys and smokey hues are also a winner so go and get that smokey eye! In my experience if you use a grey hue similar to your eye shade, it helps to have a bold eyeliner look to divide them up a bit.
  4. If you want a neutral shadow, but still want to emphasize a tint then use colored eyeliner. I love how just doing your bottom waterline with a tight green line can work wonders on grey eyes.
  5. If you have paler grey eyes, avoid red or pinks.
  6. Your ability to pull off bright shades is not affected by your eye colour but rather your skin tone. I shall leave you to discover what works there!

Of course, this all is nothing compared to needing foundation and skin makeup to be inclusive so I am happy to wait. Especially since I can create my own now! If only foundation shades were so easy and readily available!

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Style Chameleon: Barbie Barbiturate

Barbie Barbiturate is not here to glamorize drug addiction like its inspiration source of Valley of the Dolls, but rather give a sad and tragic counterpart to the perky pinup look. 

A retro 60s housewife bored with life and tranquilized to hell, but her cat eye makeup is still flawless. She’s the kind of woman who can cry without ruining her makeup, and she does not ‘ugly cry’ but instead looks benignly tragic. 

You do not (and should not) develop a drug habit to emulate this look, but we shouldn’t ignore the missteps of the past by pretending that oppressing and overmedicating women didn’t happen. Doctors are trained to believe we are exaggerating our symptoms and need to be calmed from hysteria, which is tragic enough without you developing a habit. Lana del Rey, someone who embodies this style so well, medicates with weed and that is a much better alternative. 

Barbie

Tease your hair up high (pun intended) and setting spray is integral. Feminine clothes, layered to perfection but probably not quite in keeping with the season. Accessories are a distraction, and you can ignore Coco Chanel and let them overwhelm you. Costume jewelry because you’re acting your way through a sad life – are you a Neely or an Anne? – and don’t forget your signature scent. Something classic like Shamilar, perhaps? Wear sunglasses and a big hat to avoid the sunlight, and lots of silk to drown in. 

It seems too gauche to cite or show inspirations from the long list of women who died from barbiturate overdoses, but I recommend you learn about who they are and what led them down that path. Instead, watch Valley of the Dolls (or read the book because it’s better!) and lust after everything the gorgeous Sharon Tate wears. Watch Lana del Rey music videos, and channel any woman who made the mistake of falling in love with Don Draper on Mad Men because that’s her. 

Style Mood: Swamp Witch / Romantic Witchcraft

Did you watch American Horror Story: Coven? Witches, Stevie Nicks, New Orleans, and voodoo are all obsessions for me, so squish them together and I am on board. The glam and impossibly talented Jessica Lange made goth look chic, with Stevie Nicks and Misty Day on board to bring some floating scarves to the mix too. In my mind, this is a classic look that never goes out of style!

romantic witchcraft

Like Glitter Trash, it’s harder for me to incorporate this type of lewk into my workwear. The most I can really get away with is a chiffon shawl or wearing all black (which was much more subtly in NYC compared to LA!).

You don’t need to be a witch or practice witchcraft to embrace either of these styles. As with most looks that are a bit ‘extra’, they do tend to work best when not worn as a costume. This isn’t Halloween, and I don’t recommend wearing a witchy-inspired outfit if you aren’t partially into the lifestyle. Nobody likes a poser.

swampwitch

That said, I think witchy women (and men!) are some of the most welcoming people out there, so do not feel daunted about going down that path. Each culture has their own slightly different take on witches, so why not do some investigating around if you’re interested? The witches and druids of the UK, the witch doctors of the Caribbean, the witches and their familiars of Eastern Europe, the voodoo witches of Haiti, (to name a few) all deserve individual attention if you’re intrigued!

Floaty shawls, burn out velvet, lace, headpieces, black, dark hues, ribbons, layers, dramatic swishes, pointy toe shoes, layered jewelry, inspired by nature (like spanish moss, thorns, storm clouds), unique pieces, natural materials, animal inspired jewelry (to represent your familiar!). Who are your style icons? Marie Laveau, Baba Yaga, Mortia Adams, Stevie Nicks, AHS: Coven, The Craft (obvs).

Please respect the culture, and do not treat this like a costume.

 

WTF is a dime tho

I moved to America slightly before internet shopping was as ubiquitous as it is today, and therefore had to bid farewell to many of the shops I knew from back home. High street shops like Topshop and H&M had only a couple of outposts in the states, and ASOS wasn’t shipping internationally yet. Faced with shops I wasn’t familiar with, I kind of needed to learn how to shop again as an adult.

Another hurdle to this shopping challenge was that I didn’t initially move to a big city. I did end up moving to New York later, but during my on-and-off visits and initial year stateside, I was in a small city in the mid-south. That’s both a shopping and a culture shock.

This sounds dated now, but this was a time when department stores reigned supreme in the States. I was used to a high street with shops like Mango, Oasis, Coast, and Whistles on one side then Primark, Dorothy Perkins, New Look and Accessorize on the other. Department stores like Marks and Spencers, Debenhams, or Fenwicks were where your mum shopped. Harrods and Harvey Nichols were where your rich mum shopped. While there were some high street-type shops like American Apparel, Express, Madewell, bebe, or Banana Republic, and shoe shops like Nine West, so much shopping and brand knowledge came from Macy’s, Nordstrom, or Dillards.

Remember, this was a good few years ago before Madewell existed and Free People was as easy to find. Also, the location I was in also played a huge role in the new norms of how and where people shopped.

Many Americans just assumed that if it exists here, it exists everywhere. What do you mean, you’ve never been to Target before? How is Victoria’s Secret a novelty to you? No, that coin is worth 5c and that one is worth 10c, how adorable you aren’t used to the money.

I think I might have to make this a series, because the more I’m thinking about it there were many parts to this education. I want to do them justice and not end up with a long rambling post. Of course, I had to relearn everything I learned in the South when I moved to NYC, and then again when I moved to LA.

Then there’s the challenge of adjusting your shopping and fashion choices as you age. Ugh. No wonder I decided to quit buying stuff this year.

Fashion in 2017: 10 Trends I Liked + 10 Trends I Did Not Like

It’s that time of year when we reminisce and ponder on what has transpired, for good or for bad. I like to look back on the notable style and fashion trends from the year so I can make some guesses about where things might go. So we can end on a positive note, let’s go the bad stuff out of the way first!

Trends I Did Not Like in 2017

  1. Mules and kitten heels, or the dreaded mule with kitten heels, were definitely a trend I did not like. They are no made for walking, and look so darn silly. I didn’t mind the mules with block heels, but it’s certainly not a shoe style that I love.
  2. White boots (some with kitten heels too!) are a latecomer to the year, only really cropping up in articles now. They are not going to age well, and should have been left in the 80s, with the perms and over use of blush.
  3. Cropped bootcut flares seemed to cover the legs of influencers and the pages of fashion blogs, but I don’t remember actually seeing them in the wild. Could it be because this is not a very flattering style of jeans?
  4. Mom jeans also seemed to creep back as some 90s normcore came back in style, and why don’t we learn from the mistakes of the past?
  5. Collaborations got a bit bananas in 2017, with the Supreme x Louis Vuitton being the most gauche. Hypebeasts need to chill the fuck out in 2018.
  6. Straw purses and bucket bags are pushed upon us every year, and I have no space in my life for Wes Anderson twee picnic purses, or bulky sacks designed to swallow my car keys.
  7. Oh, you think that dress is cute? Haha, gotcha! It has no back and no sides so good luck wearing a bra with it.
  8. I think the issue with the “cold shoulder sweater” is in its name.
  9. Super distressed jeans with fishnets underneath? We’re doing this again? No thanks.
  10. Zips in illogical places, designed to snag and be annoying.

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Trends I Liked In 2017

  1. Sneakers! All the sneakers. So many choices, and because they are ‘fashionable’ they are now more acceptable at work.
  2. For all the shitty styles of jeans, it was nice to see thick, good quality denim become more easily found in stores.
  3. Athleisure is not going anywhere, and I’m cool with that. Being able to find a diverse selection of leggings and hoodies is very useful.
  4. Politics made some brands take a stand, which was great to see. Lots of smaller brands who donated via purchase, and inclusive messaging are the way to go.
  5. I actually like millennial pink. It’s universally flattering. Don’t @ me.
  6. Dainty jewelry made a comeback, which is a welcome change from the bulky ‘statement’ pieces that screamed tacky to me.
  7. Socks got a bit more attention, which was unexpected. From the sheer ankle socks to Stance x Rihanna, I was psyched to see it all.
  8. Faux Fur is not only cruelty free, but delightfully fun to wear. I love standing in the corner and stroking my arm without having to be high. I’m glad this trend has stuck around.
  9. I actually liked the exaggerated sleeve trend, within reason. I liked the bell-shape or flared sleeves, but the big bell batwings can go away.
  10. That whole “silk jammies but worn outside and as clothes” was pretty neat.

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