Which, okay, doesn’t actually sound out of the ordinary. But I legit mean a makeup shopper for OTHER people where I don’t have to pay for it, I just tell them what to wear/buy and they LISTEN TO ME. And spend ALL their money on products I hand them based on my personal, meaningless recommendation. And, yes, this doesn’t actually make me any money, in fact, it could also be called “shopping with a friend” but it’s a thing that’s been happening lately and I’m really enjoying it.
So, if anyone wants to pay me to do so, I will try even harder for you. Because, money. But until that time comes, let me tell you all about my latest shopping expedition.
My dear friend Linda. Put simply, Linda is gorgeous. Like drop-dead stunning – clear skin, blue eyes, lashes for days and loooong golden blonde hair. I know. Bitch. It also just so happens that she’s a goddamn delight and one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met so I’m eternally grateful we were brought together at our old workplace because now our relationship consists of cocktails, makeup shopping and no work. Winning all-round!
So what exactly was Linda after considering how naturally stunning she is? Well basically, because of her god-given gifts, she never really had to worry about slapping on a face full of makeup like the rest of us plebs, but she was getting a little bored of having the same “look” between day/night, work/play, etc. Basically, we were easing into some fun and easy-to-transition “looks” she could play around with and not face too much terror (skin was already sorted with BB cream). In short: easy, fun, nothing too dramatic.
Braving late night shopping on Thursday, we headed into the city to hit up Mecca. This was brave of us. I hoped this wouldn’t scare Linda off playing with makeup considering how intense Pitt St can get at this time. She is a tenacious soul though, and so she forged on bravely. It helped that the lovely folk that work at Mecca are not intense or pushy or hover-y at all and mostly let us do our thing.
So we started with LIPS because that is easiest. Trust me, it is. I thought the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils would be a no-brainer – they are super easy to apply (no lip brushes, no lip liner, no skillz necessary really) and have a brilliant range of colours to select from. For Linda’s neutral-tone skin (i.e. not warm or cool), blue eyes and golden blonde hair we started with some basics and I hooked her up with Never Say Never (a dusky purpley-pink that is sheer-but-buildable) and Lodhi (a soft coral with peachy undertones). We also trialled Red Square (a bright orange-red), Dragon Girl (blue-based red), and Damned (magenta). Fact: all of these looked gorgeous on her, but to begin with, the more subtle Never Say Never and Lodhi were the winners. After all, if you start with something called “Dragon Girl” where do you go from there??
Next up, the eyes. I immediately grabbed Urban Decay’s Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion as this is the only eye primer I swear by and if we were progressing any further in this region, it was a must. But now, well, this is where one of the Mecca ladies started to get involved and I was mildly affronted to begin with because COULDN’T SHE SEE I WAS THE EXPERT HERE? But then I was also incredibly grateful because a) she was a joy to chat with and b) she reaffirmed and agreed with every single thing I suggested so I really felt like a real-life expert. Also, fine, I learned some stuff too. Winner. What I had suggested to Linda was a taupey shimmery cream shadow that could be worn with a multitude of looks (subtle with mascara for daytime, amped up with a smokey eye for the evening). What our Mecca friend suggested was also a taupey shimmery cream shadow. This moment of vindication could not have been sweeter for me. It genuinely made me breathe a little easier as Linda could now see how legit I was and not a fraud. HAH. I have been using a now discontinued Smashbox gem, so as a worthy replacement, By Terry’s Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadow in Misty Rock was the answer. And gosh, wasn’t it gorgeous framing those baby blues! It was. Applied with one’s fingertips and with a light tap of taupe powder shadow and lashings of mascara, it is also pretty much foolproof in terms of application.
I also picked up a trick myself around about this point (I know, I can’t believe I didn’t know everything already either). My next suggestion to Linda was a duo of NARS’ Laguna bronzer + Orgasm blush. Two absolutely iconic cult products with the convenience of being in a single compact. Laguna, the perfect buildable bronzer (no shimmer, totally natural) and Orgasm, the perfect peachy-pink-gold blush (built-in highlighter!) are a match made in heaven. Our Mecca helper agreed. She agreed so much in fact that she also applied the Laguna bronzer over the top of the cream shadow in the eyelid crease with a fluffy shadow brush and blended it out to reveal a beautiful, subtle, super-soft smokey eye for ANY time of day. I tried this on the weekend too and yep, it is an even more magic product for me now. And not to talk myself up TOO much, but MF (Mecca Friend – I don’t remember her name but I love her) even applied it on Linda’s face the exact way I had already instructed Linda to – in the “3” shape along the side of her face i.e. start at the hairline in the middle of the forehead, sweep down under the cheekbone, and then sweep down again to the jawline. Nailed it. Linda thought I was a g-damn genius at this point (er, because I am, obviously).
MF then suggested some light brow-filling-in (the technical term for it) in the form of Kevyn Aucoin’s Precision Brow Pencil which is super low maintenance and simple to use (so much so I’m considering swapping out my own Brow Zings for this instead) so that was a win. We then grabbed some brushes (I mean, if you’re investing, you may as well have the proper tools and Mecca currently have a great deal to buy a massive case of them for like $170 bucks) and to finish, mascara. I’m still having a love affair with Stila’s Huge Extreme Lash Mascara so there was no question here.
And VOILA! Just like that, Linda had herself a tidy little arsenal to play with that could result in a bunch of different looks transitioning between different Life Events. I also had all the fun of playing with makeup without actually spending a single dollar. TAKE NOTE FRIENDS: I really, truly did not buy a SINGLE thing while we were shopping in MECCA aka one of my all-time favourite shops of all time, ever (if you know me…I mean…you know this is big. Huge, even). I buckled a couple of times but did not give in. I am beyond proud of myself.
And of Linda! She has since informed me over the past couple of days that she has indeed been playing around and having fun with makeup. I have never felt prouder. Unfortunately, I am a twat, and didn’t really think to get a picture of her for the blog (because how gross am I that I am now using my friends and real-life experiences for blog post fodder) but if anybody else is interested, let’s make this a legit series and I’ll insist on a before/after selfie for those playing at home.