Good morning, Kumquats, and happy Friday!

Today i’m feeling pretty good, so the plan is to head out after work to the neighborhood pub for a couple of drinky-poos with the pals. Now, of course when i say a couple, i mean just that – because as a Sick Chick, on numerous heavy duty meds, and being of my diminutive size to boot, i need to be careful. Always check with your doc about whether or not you even SHOULD drink (which i have done, of course) – because you don’t want to end up in a van down by the river with some furry, obese glue-sniffer named Bubba, chain smoking Pall Malls, making out with your bra wrapped around his pit bull’s collar, trying to find your way home at 2 a.m. and wondering how you’ll explain things to your friends the next day…or, you know, just sick as a dog for the rest of the weekend.

Ok, responsible soapbox lecture over.

ANYWAY. When i go out lately, it’s generally to someplace nearby, where i know people and it’s pretty casual. I can just wear my ratty work clothes (i’m a private caregiver to a very sweet special needs young man – so jeans and a t-shirt usually makes up my “uniform”); today i wore a nice pair of True Religion jeans, an unstained shirt (getting fancy, here), put on some makeup, pulled on some nice boots with a heel, fixed the pixie, and i’m calling it good.

So read on for what i’m wearing for my day-to-night look – all products are linked in the post!

These days, i’m not wearing foundation because my skin has been looking really good as a result of my rigorous skincare regimen – so when i go out, i just smooth on some sheer colour-corrective base and powder along with my Touche Eclat on the eyes and be done with it.

                                        Pardon the cat hair – that was Calvin’s contribution to my beauty routine this morning…

  • Chanel Le Blanc Light Creator Brightening Makeup Base: This isn’t a foundation, but more like a colour-correcting, brightening, sheer primer. This lovely stuff comes in two colours – i use “Mimosa”, which is yellow-based, to cancel out red tones in my skin – i’m super-fair, so i tend to get irritated and red very easily. This just cancels that out immediately, yet goes on sheer and semi-matte, and feels comfortable on the skin. It’s lovely! I am crazy about it – plus it’s SPF 40! It doesn’t break me out either, which is amazing. It also comes in a “Rose” shade, which is good for those of you who tend towards sallowness – it will lend a nice, healthy, pink glow. Sick Chick win, in my book!

  • YSL Touche Eclat in Light Peach: Ok, i’ve been using this product for fourteen years now – it’s just that good!  There are lots of imitators, but no one quite does it like the original. I dot this on under my eyes to kill any dark circles, taking it down to the tops of my cheekbones to double as a highlighter, and smooth it on my lids as a shadow primer as well. The Light Peach shade matches perfectly with the Chanel Mimosa to counteract dark circles and redness, it illuminates and highlights beautifully without being heavy or glittery. It’s simply perfect. When i was a makeup artist, i used it on absolutely EVERYONE – and their shade selection has expanded considerably over the years, which is a plus. For Sick Chicks everywhere, this is a Holy Grail product to banish tired looking eyes. It really works.

  • Chanel Stylo Sourcils Waterproof Defining Longwear Eyebrow Pencil: I’m constantly on the lookout for the perfect eyebrow pencil – and as you can see, my kitten Fritz is just as dedicated! I have the typical, thin, Hashimoto’s eyebrows, plus they’re super-blonde – so it’s difficult to find a good, ash-blonde shade that’s light enough, ashy enough, that doesn’t disappear by midday, and is easy to apply. This Chanel one in Blonde Tendre is pretty damn good. There is also a gold-based blonde, plus a good range of other shades.  The formula is a bit on the hard, waxy side – which I like, once I got used to it, because it doesn’t migrate all over the place like some softer pencils can. I like the angled applicator, and the spoolie on the other end. You get a lot of product, it’s straight-up ash, and although it’s a bit darker than i thought i’d want, it actually is a good colour for me. Also, it’s waterproof, which is great in Chicago’s screwy climate, where it’s either spitting snow at you, or being humid at you, or raining on you, or something gross like that.  Definitely a good purchase.

  • Nars Eyeshadow Duo in Sugarland: So, i used to be a makeup artist for NARS back in the early 2000’s when i lived in Honolulu, and i still love their products – especially their eyeshadows. The colour combinations in their duos are always interesting, and the payoff is good, plus you get a decent amount of product for the price. I particularly adore this duo, because i wear a lot of lavender and pinks – but also because the first shade can be worn alone as a peachy-neutral for a quick base when you’re in a rush. Today, i used the peach tone on the base of my lids, then swept the lilac shade on the outer corner, blending towards the center and over the orbital bone (i.e. the cut-crease area, for those of you who skipped basic anatomy to get stoned in the auditorium).
  • Hakuhodo brushes: These are, by far, the best brushes i have ever used – when i was working professionally, i could not be without them. If you click on the link, it will take you to the eyeshadow brush page, but i’ve had these for so long – at least 7 years, i couldn’t tell you which number they are anymore. But they will last you forever and stay soft, provided you care for them properly. I’m going to get more, as some have been lost in my recent move, sadly. They are dense and soft and beautiful and the highest quality i have ever seen. A definite must-have! I think Sephora has a set made by them, but i’m not sure. In any case, i recommend buying directly from the company for the highest quality and selection.

  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liquid Eyeliner in Trooper: I have been doing a cat-eye ever since i was about 13 years old. It’s sort of my thing. Back in the mid 1980’s, the only kind of eyeliner we had available other than crappy pencils you had to melt with your lighter before they’d go on smoothly was either cake, or super-runny liquid with a brush in a jar. It was MADNESS, i tell you. So, i’m pretty good with the stuff.  I like this one because it’s super-black, with a precise brush that doesn’t fray (so far), and doesn’t leak. It also doesn’t irritate my super-sensitive eyes, or run into my now-occasionally crepey (in the morning when i’ve not slept much) eyelids. Actually, that’s getting less problematic with the use of the Drunk Elephant Shaba serum, i’ve noticed, so take note, y’all! It pays to use stuff that’s safe for the lids.  But i digress. I have about 50-gazillion black liquid eyeliners, and i reach for this one a lot. I also reach for a bunch of others as well, but this one is super easy to apply, and i like it just fine. Also, it doesn’t tend to fade by the end of the day (although if I’m having a particularly bad day with the runny allergy eyes, the outer-corners of my cat eye might need a touch up), which ALWAYS happens with cheaper liners. You get what you pay for, sometimes.

  • Loreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black: I’m not linking this one because you can literally get this stuff anywhere, guys. I tend to not spend lots of money on mascara because you can get a decent one for cheap, plus i throw them out every couple of months for sanitary reasons. Mascaras are a breeding ground for bacteria, and if you’ve ever had conjunctivitis, it’s not an experience you want to repeat. If you’re a contact lens wearer, you’re especially at risk, so take heed! Anyway, this is a good mascara – it grabs onto all the little lashes, is super-black, and doesn’t dry out super fast. I think it makes me look like i’m wearing false lashes. Good stuff.

  • Givenchy Lip Liner in Beige Mousseline: An old trick of the Makeup Artist trade is to use a neutral-pink shade for just about every shade of lipstick, even brights. It works. You can actually make your lips look a bit fuller when you use a neutral shade, and it’s much more forgiving when you fill in with your brighter lippie. I don’t always do this, but old habits die hard ;), especially when i have a lipstick shade that is hard to match. This is a good colour for pretty much every lipstick i own. Also, it lasts all day and is easy to apply, with no drag on the lips. I use it constantly, and still have almost a full pencil.

  • Pat McGrath LuxeTrance Lipstick in Beauty Junkie: And of course, my look would not be complete without my ubiquitous Pat McGrath lipstick! You guys, i LOVE her lipsticks. Her shades come in a range from gorgeous neutrals to stunning classic reds to deep, dangerous plums. And the formula? Incomparable. These will stay on for hours and hours, even surviving a meal. And they are super-comfortable! I cannot say enough about them. So many lipstick formulas make my lips peel – so far Chanel and Pat McGrath are solid winners when it comes to longevity and not causing a gross reaction. So although the price tag may seem hefty, if you don’t need to reapply every couple of hours? You do the math. These babies – in both the Luxe and Matte formulas – will far outlast most cheaper lippies, and without dehydrating the lips. All while delivering a unique array of shades to suit any makeup junkie’s desires. They’re worth it.

  • Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Hyperfresh: Another hit for Chanel! I’ve always been a huge fan of Chanel’s colours and formulas, and this blush is no exception.  I only need to barely tap my brush into this highly pigmented, gorgeous stuff, and the payoff is phenomenal. If i accidentally get too much on my brush? No problem – it blends like a dream! It looks beautiful and natural on the skin, too – as if i’ve been for a brisk walk, or maybe i’ve been kissing someone…

  • Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Pressed Powder in #10: I’ve NEVER in my life been a bronzer kind of girl – i’m just too pale, and i’ve never been a fan of the look, in any case. However, when this stuff came out, i liked the idea of a powder that gave you just a hint of a natural glow…not a tan, but a sunkissed glow. And when i saw that it came in a shade that matched my Tubercular pallor? I had to try it! Because often, as a result of my vampirish aversion to the sun, my skin tone can look a little, shall we say…17th century Irish wastrel? So when i swept it on, it just left this sheer, healthy, lovely sort of semi-matte glow on my skin that beautifully finished up my look, and complimented the Chanel Le Blanc base just perfectly. I absolutely adore it! I just wish they made a loose powder, because i’d snap it right up. Still in the market for one of those…but until then, the little brush that comes with this is pure genius.

  • Ouai Dry Shampoo Foam: This stuff has been a revelation! I never wash my hair every day, as it’s not good for it – especially since i bleach it (i bet you thought it came naturally, like the Khaleesi). I condition it when i get it wet, which is usually about five days a week, but on days when i don’t bother to wet in the shower, dry shampoo is the way to go. Sprays were OK, but were always a bit lacking. Then one day, when i was browsing in – you guessed it – Sephora, i stumbled across this stuff.  I had to try it out then and there. Immediately, it magically got rid of not only the oils in my hair, but also the product i had put in it that morning! It was magic. Of course i had to buy it immediately. This is most DEFINITELY a Sick Chick must-have, my friends. It leaves hair clean and gorgeous looking. This morning was a no-wash/no-wet day, so i just ran it through, fluffed my hair, and arranged it the way i wanted and voila – it looked as fresh as if i had just washed it. A definite second-day hair necessity.

And there we have it! My casual day-to-night, going to the pub Friday look :).  Super easy, and pretty without being over the top for a neighborhood joint. I hope you enjoyed the products, i’ll be doing this every Friday from here on out!

Check back tomorrow when i go shopping at Choc Choc in Chicago for my K-Beauty haul!