Archive: How To

Gray Makeup: Fashion Phenomenon Translated for the Face

In recent years the color gray has paved a prominent reputation for itself on runways, draped as cozy sweaters, strutted in sexy ankle boots, and dressed up as a tailored suit. This fall, however, the color will leap from fashion to face, updating a woman’s look with the simple sweep of the lid. While makeup’s foray into gray might be a subtle reflection of a new economy, it more positively serves as a soothing force, revitalizing neutrality for beauty’s sake.

In fashion, we’ve seen gray’s ability to adapt. But the color’s versatility beyond the wardrobe is giving it staying power among beauty gurus as well. Emmanuelle Linard of Edelkoort Inc / Trend Union remarks, “[The industry] is making gray its new timeless basic, to be mixed with accents or other brownish neutrals. Well-being and beauty…will opt for the meditative and elegant sophistication of gray. For the Fall/Winter season, eye shadows adopt concrete hues for a refined city look, charcoal powders for a mysterious allure, or a metallic silver shine. Gray is an appeasing long-term story in times of centering on seductive essentials.”

Linard explains that gray is a neutral color which signifies calmness and balance. “In a new democratic era of sharing, networking, and balancing, it is only natural that the color gray imposes itself as the color of osmosis. Merging extremes, offering relief to our hurt souls, blending in neutrality, gray will be the response for a changing generation in search of fairness and equilibrium.”

Who Can Wear Gray Make-Up?

Hair and make-up artist Assumpta Clohessy believes that gray makeup is rather difficult to work with because of its tendency to flatter particular skin tones. “Women with warmer, yellow or olive undertones look best in this color,” she explains. The contrast in undertones softens the gray from appearing too stark. Regarding hair color, she notices that Brunettes look best in the shade. When asked if gray-haired women could participate in the gray makeup trend, she feared it could be a bit much.

But don’t be discouraged if your coloring doesn’t fall into the above preferred category. For women with fair skin, she suggests trying light gray or shimmery silver on the eye. For darker skinned women or women of color, Assumpta recommends charcoal and dark gray. But stay away from too much contrast resulting in a “raccoon” look. When choosing a versatile gray, she recommends a moist, smoky, cream-based eyeshadow since the texture adds depth and the tone offers versatility over extreme gray hues. She also believes the shade most likely to compliment the majority should contain brown undertones, lending it to a broader audience of women.

How To Wear Gray?

Assumpta explains that the most adaptable way to wear gray makeup is such that it opens the eyes, as opposed to drawing them inward. Begin with a light gray or shimmery silver at the corner of the eye, swept across the lid. Shade the brow bone with a soft gray. Then line the eye with navy eyeliner, sweeping up at the outside corner of the eye. This visually lifts the eyes, in turn opening them.

For smoky eyes, use more charcoal, either swept up from the outer lash line to the crease, or brushed through the crease of the eyes. The former, softer look can be enhanced by a pop of color on the lips— a red or fuchsia pout brings life to a face of soothing, neutral eyes. But keep the lips simple when batting smoky peepers. A glossy nude or light pink will soften deep gray shadows on the lids. Rebellion against this advice could land one a role as a dancer in a Robert Palmer video.

No longer living in the shadow of black or constantly competing with navy, gray is urging beauty and our mindsets towards neutrality this Fall. Amidst today’s stress and uncertainty, gray encourages staying calm and moving forward. Take advantage of the hue’s invigorating appeal to update your look. Its non-obtrusive facade makes for a simple and truthful, clean and polished appearance.


Here are some gray’s to play with! Click on the thumbnails for more info!

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How to Give Yourself a Manicure

Even if you’re not looking to save a little cash (lucky you!), every girl should master the art of the at-home manicure. Perfecting your polishing skills is easier than you think. Our expert shows you how to get the ultimate must-have mani in just 5 fast steps.

Step 1:
Start with clean, dry, paint-free nails. Your first step is to file and shape your tips. Pick your shape: square, round, oval, or pointed (Hint: Oval is the universally flattering shape). Elle, a celebrity manicurist for Barielle Skincare – who’s worked on the nails of Angelina Jolie, Blake Lively, Cameron Diaz and Eva Mendes among others – recommends using a glass nail file, and to always file nails in one direction using short, smooth strokes. “This keeps split nails at bay,” she says. We love Sephora’s budget-friendly file ($8,

Step 2:
Soak your hands in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes to soften up your cuticles and then gently push them back with a cuticle pusher or orangewood stick. Never cut your cuticles. This is a guaranteed trick for ragged edges or worse – a bad infection. Not pretty. Try this double-sided cuticle pusher ($12,

Step 3:
It’s time to lay down your base coat. Even if you skip the top coat, never ditch your base. It gives polish something to grab onto. Added bonus: many newer formulas do double duty and can nourish your nails while helping prevent chips and peeling polish. Try Sally Hanson’s Double Duty Strengthening Base Coat ($4.49,

Step 4:
Pick a polish! Using short strokes, start in the middle of the nail and work outward. To keep it uniform, try to get the same amount of polish on the brush for each finger. And don’t skimp: two coats are better than one. Try OPI’s huge selection of colors ($8,

Step 5:

Finish with a high-shine bang: “Cuticle oil should never be skipped, and should be your last step!” says Elle. “It’s an instant manicure in a bottle and it also helps dry nail polish while finishing your cuticles.” Her expert pick? Barielle’s Intensive Nail Renewal Oil ($12.50,

From my one of my favorite websites, Betty Confidential!

Carey Mulligan, Oscars Beauty!‏

Makeup by Georgie Eisdell

“This was Carey’s first Oscars so I wanted to make sure she looked age appropriate but still embrace the glamour of the night. Carey’s dress was edgy and elegant so I wanted to keep her makeup looking fresh and youthful. I wanted to enhance the natural beauty of her skin so I used La Mer foundation lightly powdered with La Mer’s translucent powder over that. For her eyes, I used Chanel soft beige and pink shadows from their spice palette. I used MAC’s black track eye liner followed by YSL’s Faux Cils mascara in black. To finish off her eyes I sharpened up her eyebrows with Laura Mercier’s soft blonde brow powder duo. For her cheeks, I wanted to give them a pinched cheek look with Dior’s glowing color powder blush in fruit de la passion. For the finishing touch on her skin, I used Bobbi Brown bronzing powder in medium. And finally on her lips I used Dior addict lip polish 004. I used La Mer body creme on the way out the door to give her body the same glow.”

The New Wavy Hairstyle


Hippie-inspired beach waves continue to dominate the red carpet, but at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, stylist Robert Vetica took curls a decade further. “It was ’70s-inspired, like Bianca Jagger–goes–to–Studio 54,” says the coiffeur about the hairdo Jennifer Lopez, his muse of the evening, wore. “I’m kind of over messy beach hair—I wanted to make a stronger statement by giving her hair style and shape. It had lots of curl and massive volume, with more width than height.”

In eschewing carefree 60s layers for Guy Bourdin–worthy curls, Vetica trimmed Lopez’s damp hair to one length (“When you blunt the hair it makes curls appear stacked and gives volume at the ends”). Next, he blew strands dry with a round brush to maintain hair’s buoyancy and fashioned a middle part. Misting a mild fixing spray, he then created spirals with a one-inch curling iron. Working from the back to the front on each side, he finger-brushed the set with Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream (“It holds the wave and takes out any dryness from the curling iron”). For a va-va-voom finish, Vetica smoothed waves with a bristled brush and backcombed under each section using a wide-tooth comb. A healthy dousing of Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray (available next month) and Lopez’s head-turning do was complete.