F(all)OTDs: An October Makeup Diary

I’m back! Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post: your kind words were much appreciated. I did what I needed to get done, and now I’m excited to return to blogging. I’ve missed it a lot! Missed it so much, in fact, that I kept a photographic record of all the makeup I wore during my hiatus. I had nowhere to be on a daily basis except the coffee shop closest to the library, where I chipped away at an application for a fellowship that I have a laughably small chance of winning. Somehow this made me treasure the ritual of putting on my makeup even more than I already had. I like these little reminders that I have an identity beyond my dissertation.

In the last few weeks, I’ve entered a nesting phase with my makeup. My urge to haul waxes and wanes, and right now it’s at a very low point. At the risk of sounding deranged, I want to get to know the products I have. I want to use them to their full potential. My wishlist is as long as ever, but far less urgent. One day I’ll choose a NARS Audacious lipstick. One day I’ll go to the new Tony Moly store in New York and look for that lavender blush. One day I’ll see for myself if the fuss over Tatcha is justified. For now, though, I’m content to rummage through my stash and find new uses for old favorites. I may not have an impressive collection by beauty-blogger standards, but I have more than enough makeup for one face–and I’m told that one is all I get.

With that, a compendium of FOTDs from the last week or so. In all of these looks, I’m wearing CoverGirl LashBlast Length mascara, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla to cover my undereye circles, and a bit of theBalm Sleek eyeshadow to fill in my brows. I’m so boringly monogamous where anything that isn’t lips-cheeks-eyelids is concerned.

Oct. 17:

An article on xoVain reminded me that I hadn’t worn a hot-pink lipstick in quite a while. I used to be quite the fuchsia enthusiast, but this year I’ve favored purple and oranges and corals. And now that fall has arrived, fuchsia feels inappropriately coquettish. But why should it? Can’t it be as deep and jewel-like as a burgundy? I place white-based fuchsias like MAC Candy Yum-Yum firmly in the spring/summer category, but Revlon Colorburst lipstick in Fuchsia (now discontinued, alas) is vivid without approaching neon brightness. I also used NARS Mata Hari blush and Lhasa eyeshadow.

I think the lavender undertone of Lhasa harmonizes nicely with the blue-based Fuchsia.

Oct. 18:

A more orthodox autumnal look, with some tonal play: different intensities and finishes of red-plum-brown. NYX Jumbo Pencil in Iced Mocha, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk, NYX Slide-On eyeliner in Golden Bronze, Sleek Flushed blush, Revlon Lacquer Balm in Coy.

Looking at this photo now, I wish I’d built up the colors for more definition, or at least lined my upper lashlines. As it is, the products blur together into a plummy brown haze. Though I can’t get over how pink Coy looks on my lips!

Oct. 19:

After a week or two of neutral eyes, I felt like experimenting. I used Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe as a base, then blended Milani Bella Rouge, a metallic fuchsia, into the center of each mobile lid, and finished with theBalm Serious, a matte black, on my upper and lower lashlines. I added MAC Up the Amp lipstick and NARS Mata Hari blush. Now that fall has arrived and the humidity isn’t above 85% every day, I’ve settled back into my Mata Hari rut. It’s such a perfect cool pink.

Closeup of the eyes:

Because it’s balanced between purple and pink, Up the Amp can look either vernal or autumnal; it all depends on what colors you use to set it off. The addition of Mata Hari and Bella Rouge gave the look a springier vibe than I’d intended. Oh, well.

Unfortunately, Bella Rouge began to fade within an hour, and looked horribly patchy after two–and it was layered over a cream eyeshadow that usually has no trouble securing powders to my lids. I’ve said it before, but I might as well reiterate: I am so done with drugstore eyeshadows. That is, until I finally make it to Japan and get my hands on some Visée.

Oct. 20:

I was going to attend an academic talk followed by dinner with the speaker, other graduate students, and a professor. I also wanted to wear red lipstick. In a perfect world, the desire for knowledge and the desire for red lips wouldn’t come into conflict, but my department is rather, howyousay, buttoned up. And my specific subfield is even more buttoned up, and the men in my subfield vastly outnumber the women, and the few women who attend talks wear little to no makeup, because we’re all Serious Scholars. With these restraints in mind, I chose the most subdued of my opaque red lipsticks: NYX Matte Lipstick in Alabama. A brick-red matte lipstick isn’t flirty or vampy or playful; it means business. I also used NYX Iced Mocha and theBalm Sleek on my eyes and Mata Hari on my cheeks.

All this was in the service of coordinating with my houndstooth skirt from J. Crew, the only new piece of clothing I’ve allowed myself this fall. Overexposed library-carrel selfies are so grad school. Gradcore, if you will.

Oct. 21:

I was wearing bright green jeans, which were a lot of look in themselves, and I didn’t want my makeup to compete. I also feared that any lipstick close to red would make me look like Christmas. I used three colors that look very different in the tube/pan but harmonize surprisingly well on the face (purple is the key): NARS Coeur Battant, Revlon Coy, and NYX Slide-On liner in Jewel, a plum with pink sparkles. Since my eyes and lips were relatively subdued, I used more blush than I normally would.

These colors seem very different from one another in the pan/tube/stick, but swatches tell another story. Coeur Battant is very cool, Coy is warm, and Jewel bridges the two temperatures nicely.

Supercloseup to catch the blush on camera:

Jewel is a pretty color, but it fades quickly and produces a lot of glitter fallout. Let me rephrase my resolution of the 19th: I am so done with drugstore eye makeup in general. I need some higher-quality basics.

Oct. 22:

Whenever I wear my navy turtleneck, I try to make myself look as much like a ’90s grad student as possible, which usually means dark brownish-red lipstick. This time I used Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet, along with Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, NYX Golden Bronze liner, and Illamasqua cream blush in Zygomatic.

Bad lighting is bad: it was raining all day. This was the day I finally submitted my application. I made a celebratory drink, but fell asleep before I’d finished half of it.

It’s still raining today, but I’m in a much better mood. It’s good to be back.

16 thoughts on “F(all)OTDs: An October Makeup Diary

  1. Aha, but library carrels are only the landscape of certain kinds of graduate students. I spent a lot more time in various labs and in my office. I think I went to the library twice in five years. Maybe thrice.Anyway, glad to see you back. I didn't have much in the way of encouraging words for your last post, and I apologize. Being unemployed is stressing me out, and I can only keep it together for so long; I feel like I'm unraveling and will become a mess of fluffy tangled strings if I don't start focusing on SCIENCE soon.I have other projects, but as they don't bring in any income and don't involve interaction with people, they can only take me so far. And lack of satisfaction in one aspect of life sort of bleeds into all of the others…so basically, I feel ya. But you will prevail! *raises spear* (I suppose THAT should have been the comment on your last post).


  2. Damn, you're so thoughtful with your daily makeup. I just look at my hoard, randomly pick up whatever's been neglected or is most handy and then make the best of the disorganized compilation. I love that gradcore look — so very autumnal and academic and vintage chic. ❤


  3. I'm glad you're back! I have similar concerns whenever I want to wear green clothing along with anything resembling red on my lips. The other day I went out in my new forest green Zara blazer, it was a tough choice. I think I ended up going with a Clarins lip perfector thing — I have a serious lack of serviceable \”nudes\”. It also didn't help that my boyfriend was wearing a red checked shirt.I really like this daily makeup diary format. Think I need to start keeping one, even if just for myself! I'm good at keeping data when it comes to The Science, but terrible when it comes to myself. It might be interesting to pick up on trends and see how different occasions or moods affect my choices.Joy is great on you, as is Coeur Battant!


  4. Welcome back, AB! :)This post is inspiring, too (and enabling me for Mata Hari ;o)! I need to plan out my makeup and be more creative. Lately I've been just using one eyeshadow quad for nondescript smoky that goes well with reddish lips (often no blush). I just remembered easonal inventories do work for curving the lemmings, too. Just like you, I'm done with drugstore eyeshadows. Even the highly praised ones (like WnW) do not impress me at all. The only thing I like is the L'Oreal Infallibles, but even that I have too many so I'm not looking to add any more. Speaking of Visee, I wasn't all that impressed by it. Maybe it was the wrong color choice but I'd rather spend some more for Shu or Anna Sui if it's Japanese since Visee is not exactly priced like the U.S. ds ones. ;-/


  5. You're right! I should have been more liberal in my definition of gradcore. Though even I don't go to the library as often as I might, because it's been undergoing extensive renovation for the last FOUR YEARS. Various staircases keep getting closed off and the locations of call numbers keep switching. It's like Hogwarts with absolutely no magic. Anyway, I've always admired the work ethic of science grad students–they work so much harder than we literature types do.And no need to apologize! I'm so sorry you're going through a hard time. Feeling aimless and adrift is the worst. I hope things turn around for you soon!


  6. Let's be real, I'd be less thoughtful with my daily makeup if I had a real job. I was also being more thoughtful than usual because I was planning to make a compilation post. My usual MO is NARS Lhasa + pink blush + berry lip, and it's embarrassing how often I forget mascara.And thanks! ❤ Sorry I didn't manage to get a better picture of the makeup.


  7. I'm glad to be back! And jealous of your forest green blazer. I imagine, though, that forest green would look less Christmasy with red lipstick than bright-ass green would. I actually think Dior Vie d'Enfer would look beautiful with dark green!Keeping a makeup diary was fun–I liked thinking more consciously than usual about my choices. And I'm so sad that Coeur Battant was limited edition, because everyone could use an eye-searing magenta blush.


  8. Mata Hari is such a great blush! Not a very unusual color, but I have a soft spot for it since it was the first blush I used regularly. Which eyeshadow quad have you been using? For some reason, I don't own any quads–just one big palette, one NARS duo, and a bunch of singles.


  9. I am ashamed to say this but I'm using 12 year old vintage Chanel baked quad. It is terrible because I did acquire one of those new Chanel quad and a reformulate Dior quint recently. Sometimes I don't know what is wrong with me. Really. -_-;;BTW, I meant to say I also have a stick of the dc'd Revlon Fuchsia. I should wear this more often before it goes bad. Such a lovely shade.


  10. 12 years old! :O That's very impressive. Hey, if it still works and hasn't gone bad, why not? I love Fuchsia so much that I actually bought a backup of it when I found out the Colorburst line was being discontinued. I love the Colorburst formula–easily the best drugstore lipstick formula I've tried. So lightweight and moisturizing.


  11. Loved this compilation — the alternation really brought home how 'at home' you look in those muted warm tones, while the cooler ones offer an zingy contrast. Also, I appreciate your taste and consistency in earrings ❤


  12. Thanks, Kate! Compiling this diary has produced an undertonal crisis for me: I always thought I was cool (and some of these photos make my skin look warmer than it usually does IRL), but then why does the second look actually suit me??!1 And yes, my taste in earrings has become very austere and neutral in the last year or so. My taste in tops, also–I need to acquire some shirts that aren't black, gray, or camel…


  13. See, to my eye your colouring's always looked muted — not only your milky skin, which has this velvety evenness (rather than looking translucent), but your hair and eye colour also share this softened warmth. I think the latest new&improved seasonal terminology would call it 'deep soft autumn' i.e. right in between Autumn and Winter, but not so dark as deep autumn or deep winter — though obvs I just like playing with these descriptive concepts rather than viewing them as prescriptions! But it helps my brain work out why those cool tones pop while soft warmish ones meld. And I like to throw finish/overall effect into play so your at-hominess in sheer, soft, stainy, hazy edwardiana all influence my eye too 😀


  14. Veeery interesting. I've never tried to figure out ~my colors~ for real, but I always assumed I was some sort of winter, because of the contrast between my hair and skin. But you're right that my hair is a warmish brown and my eyes are a warmish green, so the autumn designation does make sense. I was really surprised that Coy suited me as well as it did! Though, oddly, not all cool tones pop on me the way Fuchsia does. Whenever I wear MAC Pink Nouveau, my skin looks so pink it's ridiculous. And clothes-wise, if I'm not wearing black or gray, I tend to go for jewel tones like navy or burgundy. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN??!1! Cue many hours of procrastinatory seasonal-color research…\”Hazy edwardiana\” is the aesthetic I aspire to, so I'm delighted that it comes across. 😀


  15. Obviously, I think you look unforgivably gorgeous in all of these pictures. Damn you. 😉 I am totally loving the 'grad' theme. Gradcore needs to be a hashtag. We need to make this happen. #gradcore. See? 😀 We could attach it to pictures of dinner-cereal and full bookbags. To pictures of the backs of professors heads when they're obviously asleep in a departmental seminar. To packets of instant ramen eaten surreptitiously in a laboratory. The possibilities are endless, really. In the meantime, high fives to you for rocking the red lip!P.S. If you're looking for an exceptional fuchsia, Fuchsia Fever from Estee Lauder is my favourite 😉 It has that hint of blue shift to it, and is extremely comfortable. In the meantime, WHY DO THEY ALWAYS DISCONTINUE THE PRETTIES?!


  16. #gradcore indeed! Your examples remind me of the time I attended a graduate conference at a university that shall remain nameless. We were graced with the presence of a big-name professor who shall also remain nameless. Said professor not only slept through the entire conference, but also snored so loudly that he drowned out one of the speakers. His own grad students were obviously afraid to wake him up. It was the epitome of #gradcore.I'm proud to say that I bought a backup of Fuchsia before it vanished forever!


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