Roses and Gunmetal: A Lingerie Superhero Makeup Story

jeanna 4Jeanna, founder of queer, alternative lingerie shop Bluestockings Boutique, is giving us a lingerie-inspired smokey superhero look with gunmetal steely blue and firey coral rose eyeshadow accents. She knew how to work it for the camera so this post is going to be littered with pictures of her, striking a pose in her Dame de Paris balcony bra from Marlies Dekkers.jeanna 2

For Jeanna’s eye makeup we used: jeanna face 1

Marc Jacob’s black gel eyeliner pen

Stila matte black eyeshadow, Ebony

UD steely blue-grey eyeshadow, Gunmetal

UD golden brown eyeshadow, Smog

MAC pro eyeshadow, Coral

Madison Street Beauty, Flamingo (No longer available)

MSB eyeshadow, Desert Sands (No longer available)

Her lips are BareMinerals pink-nude lipstick, Speak Your Mind

jeanna eye 1

I took inspiration and some technique tips for this multi-layered smokey look from this Makeup Geek tutorial. Instead of using a mermaid palette as shown in the tutorial, with cooler metallic green shadows, we brightened up this dark look with coral and gold ones.  We also gave her more of a cat eye effect than what is shown in the tutorial because we wanted to subtly reference a superhero eye mask. jeanna eye 2

I started by smudging the black gel liner into the inner and outer corners of her eye, arching the color at the outer corner up to the end of her eyebrow. This gel liner packs a super-pigmented punch so I used some face primer to spread it and smooth it out, getting into the creases of her eyes. On top of the gel liner base, I layered black matte eyeshadow and a shimmery, steely grey-blue shadow until I got the effect and color I wanted. I also lined her bottom jeanna windowlids with the black gel pen and smoothed it out with the dark blue gunmetal color. Above these dark colors, I blended a golden brown shadow, softening the color up to her brow bones. To give this look a striking colorful impact, I thickly dabbed shimmery red, coral and gold eyeshadow onto the center of her eyelids. The inner corners of her eyes are highlighted with glittery gold shadow, the same hue I mixed with the red and coral colors at the center of her eye lids.

I also highlighted under her brows with a light pink-white eyeshadow pen to further brighten her up and give a little lift to her eyebrows. We decided to keep the lips nude to soften this intense look and draw more attention to her eyes. The final outcome is dusky and sexy. As far as super heroes go, she is offering us a femme fatale, black leather Catwoman with the red and gold colors of Wonder Woman’s costume.

1340060937_michelle-pfeiffer-catwoman jeanna 8 WonderWoman(5)

And as far as lingerie goes, here are some of the pieces that inspired us by Agent Provocateur, Dani Read, and Marlies Dekkers.

Naomi_Campbell_Agent_Provocateur_Evalyne-1024x706 lkbkmock-4 16450_4_lb_f

Don’t forget to check out the Bluestockings website for more information about Jeanna’s boutique.

While I was taking pictures of Jeanna, I couldn’t get this song out of my head.

jeanna bette davis


Looks to smother with confetti

My ideal New Year’s Eve involves me lounging, makeup free, in a nest of blankets with a soothing face mask, a cat in my lap and a glass of wine in my hand. With that combination I’m guaranteed to be asleep well before midnight, but at least I’ll wake up rested for the new year.

If the right group of friends is involved, going out for NYE can be fun too. Having a good crew is surely essential for surviving an environment thick with drunk, obnoxious people who feel wretched and anxious about making the first moment of the new year the perfect moment.  You need someone to raise your eyebrows at when the homely and horny girls doing obscene things to men who you suspect were hired from Craigslist to endure a champagne and desperation soaked night somehow get even more down and more dirty on a couch in the bar. You need someone to wink at as a grey beard cruises your boyfriend. You need to grimace in solidarity as the Brooklyn MC projects dancing Hasidic Jews on the wall and tells you not to take selfies in 2015. And you need someone to find confetti in her underwear the next morning after dozens of party poppers were let loose around you like a rainbow bukkake,

Yes, that pretty much sums up my last night of 2014.

This year I was fortunate enough to get confetti-splattered with some of my favorite people. And my pretty friend Jayne let me do her makeup. Originally our plan was to go with a Taylor Swift look–wing-tipped eyes and bright red lipstick that would, fingers crossed, devolve into the goopy, hysterical mess Tay Tay perfects at the end of her “Blank Space” video. taylor_swift_770_1Taylor-Swift

We took the bright wing-tipped look in the left photograph and brightened it up with some white, violet and gold colors. We also ended up skipping the red lip and going for a nude one, keeping the look light and ethereal.

jayne face 1jaybe face 1

For Jayne’s look we used:

jayne paletteLush’s cream eyeshadow, Focus

The Body Shop’s Colour Crush eyeshadow, Blueberry Night (blended into the Lush shadow, on the right side of the first strip of color)

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil, Cottage Cheese (really bad branding on their part, we’re thinking the same thing)

Lush’s golden eyeliner, Dynamic

BareMinerals Moxie lipstick, Speak Your Mind

Jayne eyes 1

All of these products were new to me, and I love the colors we were able to achieve with the Lush cosmetics in particular. To start, we used a white eye shadow primer by NYX–this allowed us to work from a bright base and build up a luminescent effect with the other products we layered over it. On her eye lid we blended the silvery cream shadow with the light jayne full 2violet eyeshadow causing the hue to become beautifully opalescent. We then blended the golden eyeliner at the outer edge of her eye and into her eye crease to add more dimension and to highlight her blue eyes. In the inner corners of her eyes we used the Cottage Cheese pen with some powder highlighter to smooth out the color (so it didn’t actually look like clumpy cottage cheese, staying true to its stomach-turning name). For her eyeliner we used Stila liquid liner. I also added some Hourglass ambient lighting blush to her cheeks–after we dabbed on some primer and BB cream–which gave her a soft coral glow.

For my own NYE look I drew inspiration from 70s David Bowie.



70s makeup (from what I can gather from my vague interest in certain 70s idols–Dolly, Stevie, Debbie Harry, Siouxsie, Cher . . . ) was about dark eyeliner and soft but colorful eyeshadows.

12885f images-2 images-1

I went for a soft but colorful red and gold look.

Gina bowie face 1

gina bowie face 2

For my look I used:gina palette

Urban Decay eyeshadow, Freelove

Madison Street Beauty eyeshadow, Flamingo (this is the darker, shimmery color below and mixed into the lighter, peachy, less shimmery Freelove)

Lush eyeliner, Dynamic

UD eyeshadow, Half Baked

MSB Golden Bronzer

NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color crayon, Roosevelt Island Red

Gina full bowie 1I covered my lids in the gold eyeliner (you’ll note I used this as an eyeshadow instead of an eyeliner on both Jayne and me). I also lined my top lids with this color and extended it into a pyramid shape in the center of my lids, going into and above my eye creases. Then I shaded the inner corners of my eyes and into the creases on either side of the “pyramid” with pink eye shadow.  I dusted and blended around the edges of these colors with the red, glittery eye shadow.

I used the golden bronze to contour around my face, going for a more subtle Bowie contour-mask look (as seen in the picture below).David-Bowie-as-Ziggy-Stardust

The rusty-red lip color definitely made this look stand out, and I got the glossy effect by applying a gold lip gloss over the top. The NYC lipstick crayon I used was less than $5, long-lasting and tasted like cake or some sweet dessert–definitely worth it!

For the end of 2015 maybe I’ll go for the gold forehead circle.

Bren and Jayne on bus

Beauties still got to commute to the par-tay

Dead Laura Palmer

I wish that Halloween came more than once a year so that I could have more excuses to come up with costume and makeup ideas.

This year I returned to the Twin Peaks theme that inspired me in 2011when I dressed up as the Log Lady.


And now dead Laura Palmer:

LP3 LP 4


Without my plastic casing I look like Ariel from The Tempest.


Rainbow Bright Eyes

My friend Emily served as a gracious Vampid model to show off a look inspired by Queen Elizabeth I’s Rainbow Portrait. rainbowportraitKnowing that Emily studies early modern literature, I suggested the Virgin Queen as the source of inspiration for a look we could curate, and we both agreed that the autumnal colors in her famous rainbow dress would be perfect.

Emily kindly gives us a “micro-lecture” on the portrait and the look it inspired:

Emily 1

Emily is a karaoke enthusiast originally from rural Missouri. Her interests include smiling at strangers, singing loudly in the streets, and eating cookies for breakfast.

The highly symbolic Rainbow Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, attributed to Isaac Oliver, was painted around 1600 when Elizabeth was in her 60s, though you’d never know it from the youthful visage she has in the painting. As the “eternal virgin” queen of England, it was important to maintain the image of her youthfulness. She wears pearls, a symbol of virginity, and if you look closely at her dress, you will see that it is covered with a pattern of eyes and ears (the queen sees and hears all!). Unfortunately, I don’t own any garments of clothing printed with body parts, but we did take inspiration from this quirky dress by playing up my eyes in golden tones similar to the shades of this portrait, and I adopted her long strand of pearls to complete the ensemble. Perhaps we can also take inspiration from Elizabeth I’s resistance to the many marriage matches suggested for her, and her insistence that she would rule England alone as its virgin queen.  Now I just need to find a country to rule so my family will stop pressuring me to settle down!

 For Emily’s look we used (from right to left):

Chella Ivory Lace HighlighterIMG_6991

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil 621A Pure Gold

NYX Slide On Eye Pencil SL16 Golden Bronze

Madison Street Beauty Desert Sands Eye Shadow #63

Madison Street Beauty Peony Blush

Madison Street Beauty Marigold Blush

Urban Decay Slowburn mixed with Buck

UD Half-baked

Clinique Glow Bronze Lipstick

Emily eyes 3First I outlined all around Emily’s eye, connecting the inner and outer corners, with the gold NYX pen. Then I applied UD’s half-baked over the liner. I then layered MSB Marigold blush (used as an eye shadow) above the gold shadow, going into Emily’s eye crease. Above the marigold, I blended a line of MSG Pure Gold—creating a gold-orange-gold rainbow on Emily’s eyes. 

Emily eyes 1To get a smoky cat eye effect, I mixed UD’s Slowburn bright orange shadow with the matte brown Buck and blended at the outer end of the “rainbow” I created. Next I lined her bottom lid with the NYX bronze eyeliner, giving the look a little more depth and edge.

We kept her face simple, using a mix of her foundations—Clinique Even Better and No7 Instant Radiance. MSB pink Peony blush subtly brightens Emily’s cheeks. Very little contouring was necessary, especially because we wanted to feature, not hide, Emily’s high forehead. In the Queen’s time, women plucked their hairlines to get a prominent forehead. In our time, Emily gives the look a beautiful modern spin. Emily 2

For our final touches, I had Emily do a quick lip scrub with a bit of honey and sugar (it’s fall and lips are starting to chap!) before she put on a demure nude lipstick. I made up this lip scrub on the spot, having never tried it on myself before, and it seemed to work well. As a pure sugar lip solution, Emily attests to its deliciousness too. Last, with three coats of Laura Mercier’s volumizing mascara, we were done!

Note on Madison Street Beauty products: a few weeks ago I posted about their going out of business sale. I don’t know if they are still having their sale or not, but this could be your last chance to get some of the colors you see here. Their makeup is light on the skin and offers rich, shimmery mineral pigments. The blush, however, is not too colorful—which is good if you have light skin and don’t want your blush to look too colorful.

Emily 5Now off to enjoy the evening!


Siouxsie Cixous

This look, modeled by Brenden, started out being Siouxsie Sioux inspired and then quickly became part Hélène Cixous and part Morrisey in execution. Maybe porno for Egyptologists too. But I guess that’s what happens when you have intense eyebrows, colombina masquearade mask eye makeup, and fluffy blown back hair.



Brenden is a lesbian in training for Pittsburgh, PA. His makeup interests include Rupaul's Drag Race, goth eyeliner, and whatever Gina wants to put on him.

Brenden is a lesbian in training for Pittsburgh, PA. His makeup interests include Rupaul’s Drag Race, goth eyeliner, and whatever Gina wants to put on him.

brenden 8First, let’s review the bad. One of the biggest mistakes I made in pulling off this look was using Covergirl Clean Oil Control Foundation. Brenden definitely got what he paid for when he purchased this foundation–a pigment that made him too yellow and did not control shine AT ALL. This “anti-luisance” was lackluster but not in the way we wanted it to actually help us lack luster on Brenden’s face. This foundation may have been the worst makeup product I’ve ever used.

Despite these set backs, and even if it is hard to see in the photos, Brenden’s intense, hieroglyphic eye makeup came out beautifully. Props, thanks and general shout out is in order for our friend Megan who helped us highlight how truly awful and cheap Covergirl cosmetics are in juxtaposition to the good, high end makeup she provided for this look. (As a side note, Megan knows a lot about makeup and will hopefully become a regular contributor!)

Brenden 6For Brenden’s look we used:


Although I’m not providing a palette picture here, you can imagine it would look like a bunch of black smudged onto my arm. We were able to achieve some depth and nuance in this look, however, by adding highlights with the light shadow colors, Sin and Nude. We also blended in Gunmetal and Illamasqua’s Alluvium to create a rich, shimmery smoky effect that added interest and softness to all of the black layered on black layered on black.

Lots of layering is indeed what I did to line and shadow Brenden’s eyes: I drew the lines I wanted to further darken and shade in with the Maybelline Kajal Kohl Liner first, then I applied the Armani black silk shadow over that, then I painted over that with the L’Oreal lacquer (see my review of this lacquer here), and FINALLY I sealed it with more Armani silk shadow. I really liked the Maybelline liner. It doesn’t come on intensely black, but it made it easy to map out where I wanted to apply more extreme pigment, providing a nice base that didn’t smudge.  Also, the Armani silk shadow is no joke–it created a black silkiness that was perfect for creating bold dark lines that blended into a smoky shadow over Brenden’s eye lids.

Another unfortunate aspect about this look as it appears in these pictures is that you can’t really see how truly creamy and beautiful the Burberry lip cover is here. The Devon Sunset color is a not-too-bright, not-too-nude coral pink that added some color and softness to the severe, dark palette we used for this look. Plus, Brenden’s lips have a naturally dramatic bow to them, making the Clara Bow lip that Siouxsie perfected really easy to achieve on him.

Oh, and then after the glasses were put back on, Brenden’s look became mostly Rachel Maddow.

brenden glasses

Swallowtail Siouxsie Look

Today’s look is part yellow swallowtail part Siouxsie Sioux.  red-blue-yellow-black

A friend of mine is going to guest model for Vampid soon, and he wants to rock a dark-eyed Siouxsie Sioux look. In preparation for this future post–coming soon!–I bought some new makeup to experiment with siouxsie-siouxdoing thick black lines and shading around my eyes. In the process of such mad makeup experimentation, I came up with this look.

Because I knew getting dark Siouxsie eyes would require a lot of product, I kept it relatively cheap and picked up L’Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner. I chose this particular liner because it looked like it would give me a lot of product for my money and came with a liner brush.

First I thickly lined my top eyelids with this liner and half of the creased area above my eyelid. Then I connected and filled in the two lines I made at the outer corner of my eye. I also smoothed everything out and sealed it with black eye shadow.

bee close up 1

After using this product, trying to maintain this SSS look for the entire work day, I’d rate it a 6/10 for being just so-so liner. While it is easy to apply, doesn’t smudge too much, and stays on all day (fading just a tad), I’d prefer a creamier, more richly pigmented liner–and something more truly like black lacquer.

Also for this look I picked up some yellow eye shadow by Revlon ColorStay. I chose this brand simply because it was the only distinctly yellow eye shadow I could find in the drug store on the day I was shopping for makeup. This eye shadow came in a palette which included a gold, purple and black color.  Like the L’Oreal liner, this Revlon eye shadow is only so-so: I had to use a lot of it to get it as bright as you see in the pictures, and if I hadn’t used primer the pigment would have been even less vibrant. I also used the gold color to highlight the inner corners of my eyes.

bee eye 2

The clear star product I used for this look is the lipstick—-NYX “Indie Flick.” This color is powerful, vibrant and didn’t fade easily. I will definitely be wearing this lipstick frequently, especially as the weather gets colder and I need a nice color pick-me-up to bring at least some visual warmth and fieriness into my life.

The products I used:

bee product picture

Revlon ColorStay eye shadow in yellow, gold, and black

White NYC waterproof eyeliner (to line my waterlines)

L’Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner

NYX Matte Lipstick in “Indie Flick”

Urban Decay Primer Potion (not shown)

Make Up Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara (not shown)


palette picture bee

The palette from top to bottom:

White NYC eyeliner

Gold Revlon ColorStay eye shadow

Yellow Revlon ColorStay eyeshadow

NYX “Indie Flick” Matte Lipstick

L’Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner in black

First of Many First Day of School Looks

You can never be over the first day of school look when you are a teacher, no matter how over it you may be. The first day of school often sets the tone for the rest of the year, and you can definitely fuck it up (and I have). What is a teacher with bright pink hair and who is often mistaken for a college freshmen to do to style herself in confidence, knowledge, and authority for the first day of school? Go with a bold, black winged eyeliner to add intensity to an otherwise clean, nude look that’s what. Wearing a vintage Armani blazer with stacked shoulder pads helps too.

Blog school look 8

This look combines both adventurous intensity with understated but complex simplicity (an oxymoron, I know, I’m the literature scholar, but I’ll explain). The adventurousness comes from the thick eyeliner and full, long fake eyelashes. The simplicity comes from the natural, clean look of the seemingly simple face makeup and nude lip. This simplicity is quite complex, though, in terms of the layering and blending of products that went into making my complexion so glowing and flawless.

Blog school look 7

Blog school look 6

Here is a list of items I used on my “first day of school” look:

product picture 3

Too Faced Brow Envy brow kit

Maybelline Great Lash waterproof mascara

Stila Stay All Day waterproof liquid eyeliner

Sephora fake eyelashes

Too Faced Lip Insurance lip primer

Hourglass Femme Nude No 4

Milan Shadow Eyez 12 Hr Eye Shadow, 11 Sand Dunes

Urban Decay Naked palette

Urban Decay Primer Potion (not pictured)

Givenchy Photo’Perfexion Foundation, Color 106 Perfect Pecan

MAC Prep + Prime face prime

BareMinerals Stroke of Light eye brightener

BareMinerals foundation powder

Too Faced Teddy Bear makeup brush set (plus a cheap foundation brush I picked up at my local drugstore)  

I started with my eyes and applied the Urban Decay primer potion generously to my lids and eye creases. Then I filled in my lids with “Nude” from the Naked palette. Applying it with an eye shadow applicator brush, I didn’t shade it into the crease of my eyes.

Then I took a liner brush and drew a black curved line, smiling up from the corner of my outer eyelid towards the end of my brow line, with “Creep” from the Naked palette. I lined the powder exactly where I wanted to apply my eyeliner. Lining with eyeshadow before the liquid liner shows me where to put the darker, longer-lasting, and harder-to-correct liquid liner. As a final touch, I sealed it all with more black eyeshadow, which also allowed me to blend and smooth out the line I drew with the eyeliner pen.

Next I used my liner brush to line my lower eyelid with “Buck” from the Naked palette, using only eye shadow as a subtle eyeliner on my bottom eyelids. I didn’t line my waterlines on either my upper or lower eyelids because I wanted to keep the look of my eyes wide open and clear. To finish off my eyes,  I cleaned up my mistakes and excess eye shadow dust with a little more eye primer where needed. Finally, I highlighted the inner corners of my eyes with “Sin” from the Naked palette, making sure to coat my tear ducts and blend the shadow into the brown Buck color I used to line my bottom lids. Note that I only blended the Sin into the beginning part of the line I made with Buck–I  did not trace the Sin all the way down to the other end of my eye.

Moving onto my face, I used a foundation brush to apply face primer all over before I applied my foundation. Then I took my highlighter pen (the BareMinerals eye brightener) and applied it directly onto my forehead lines, smile lines, above and under my eyebrows, under my eyes, and on top of my cheekbones. I let the product sit on my face and did not blend it in until after I did my eyebrows and lips. I didn’t use bronzer or blush although I might have if I felt my complexion lacked depth and nuance, looking too pale and lifeless.

For my brows, I used the small angled eyebrow brush in my brow kit to trace the top line of my brows, following my brow line. Then I traced the bottom line of my brows in the same color. I filled in my brows with the lighter brown color in the kit and blended, shaped, and smoothed everything out with a brow brush. I cleaned up the excess pigment and dust around my brows with a q tip and then set the brows with the brow wax in the kit, brushing them one final time. Lastly I highlighted under my brows with the highlighting powder in the kit, blending into the highlighter pen I used to highlight the same area. I also blended some of the highlighting powder from the brow kit into the Sin color I used to highlight the inner corners or my eyes.

Before gluing on my fake eyelashes, I put on mascara to my top and lower eyelashes to help curl the lashes and hold the fake lashes in place. Then I moved onto my lips where I first traced a thin highlighting line around my entire mouth with the Milan eyeshadow pencil, using it as a lip highlighter but not exactly as a lip liner because I applied it just around the outside of my lips. After coating my lips with lip primer, I put on my nude lipstick.

For my final touches, I blended the highlighter still siting on my skin (always blending up into the lines and areas I wanted to hide or emphasize) and sealed in everything with a big, fluffy blending brush dusted with BareMinerals foundation powder.

So, a lot more went into this look than might appear considering the simplicity of the nude palette I used.

Along the top of my wrist from left to right: Palette used for school look

A smudge of the BareMinerals Stroke of Light above the Givenchy foundation

MAC Prep + Prime

Hourglass Femme Nude 4 between two strokes of Milan Shadow Eyez in Sand Dunes

Going down the rest of my arm from top to bottom:

Stila liquid eyeliner

Creep eye shadow

Buck eye shadow

Sin eyeshadow mixed with highlighting powder from the brow kit

And that’s it! Take a bow!

Blog school pic 7

Do you hate this final picture of me (below) as much as my “content editor” (a friend I bullied into giving me constant feedback about my blog and visuals)? He thinks the last photo has terrible lighting and degrades the quality of the other photos. I think the photo shows the “curtain falling,” and my return to my sloppy, more poorly lit, candid everyday world.