Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How has the recession affected fashion trends/Do your own Retro Makeup

After a conversation with a very fashionable friend recently, I've really been thinking about how our current economic state has been affecting the world of fashion. I don't usually use this blog as a political forum (for my own ideas or anyone else's), but I really wanted to put all my thoughts on paper and pinpoint exactly where we are fashion-wise and how we got here. After my short rant, I would also like to provide products and examples of how to create your own retro look.

We are in a recession. Money is tight. People aren't making as many pleasure purchases. How does this affect fashion?

We still want to be ahead of the game and fabulous, even if we're doing it on a budget! History repeats itself and the fashion industry is no different. We go back in time and reuse hot trends. I think one of the reasons "retro" is so big right now is because it allows us to work with things we already have in a new way- Twiggy eyes, Bardot lips, big sunglasses, funky scarves- designers are playing up on this by bringing out new collections that we can continue to wear and integrate into our closets as more long-term fashion. So yes, we're in a recession, but isn't it just forcing us to develop fashion smarts?

The Fun Part: How to do your own Retro Makeup

Makeup is my favorite form of expression, being a MUA, and I know that the recession has greatly affected me- both with my models and myself. I'll say it over and over again, but money is tight. I'm not spending the same amount on products because quite frankly, makeup is expensive and it is time for us to be frugal. This means I'm not experimenting with as many new products, but instead am sticking to products I love and know work well. I've become a very loyal customer to the brands I support and am simply using my money wisely. I don't think this is a bad thing... The companies with great products are the ones that are going to survive in the end and in the long run this recession will be a small bump in the road for them, not devastating. It encourages them to keep up the good work and keep delivering.

As I already mentioned, trend wise, we are looking back to a more retro style. This is great for people on a budget that still want to look fantastic, because it calls on all the tools most people already have- black eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, primer, and face coverage (powder, foundation, tinted moisturizer... whatever your cup of tea). Looking back to some truly fabulous models is a great starting point- Twiggy, Brigitte Bardot, and Veruschka all had looks that you can achieve at home with a limited beauty arsenal and a tight budget.

Photo Courtesy of

Let's begin by looking at Twiggy, one of the most famous models in the 1960's. Her iconic pixie hairstyle is still extremely popular today, and her famous eyes serve as MUA inspiration worldwide. In this look, it is all about the eyes. Her lips and cheekbones are perfectly accentuated, but aren't overdone so that you can't help but pay attention to those gorgeous peepers! The dark shadow surrounding her high eye crease draws you into her gaze and makes her eyes look huge! The chunky individual lashes and perfectly defined brows complete this look.

Products you can use to achieve this look on a budget:
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Light (will smooth out your skin and give you a flawless base for whatever face products you use. The Light version is oil free and won't alter your skin's chemistry) $36
Smashbox High Definition Liquid Concealer (Great to brighten under your eyes, cover dark circles, and any unfortunate breakouts) $20
ELF Mineral Foundation Powder SPF 15 Great if you like very light coverage that will also help protect your skin from the sun) $5
PRTTY PEAUSHUN skin tight body lotion (sweep under your cheekbones to define and brighten) $36

*Now this seems like a lot of money for face products, but keep in mind that you can use these everyday with any look and they will last you a VERY long time! In fact, you can use these skin products for all 3 looks I'm discussing today.

I recommend putting a layer of primer on your eyelids as well so that your makeup will last day into night, but if you're on a tight budget you can also use a thin layer of moisturizer to achieve the same effect. I always recommend a moisturizer with at least SPF 15 so that you can protect the very delicate skin above your eyes from sun damage in case you forget your sunglasses!

Pur Minerals Pressed Mineral Eye Shadow Singles White Opal (Sweep this just under your brow to brighten your eyes and down to just above your crease)
Urban Decay Eye Shadow Foxy (Sweep on lower crease just next to lash line and in inner corners of eyes) $18
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Twice Baked (Start above your eye crease and sweep a think even layer out just past the outer corner of your eye) $18
Smashbox Limitless Waterproof Liquid Liner Pen Black (I love this liner because it makes a thick clean line. It also comes to a point so it works really great if you're trying to create a cat eye look) $22
Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara Black (Makes thick, full, non-chunky lashes) $20
Eylure Individual Lashes (Use to create the very seperate lash look Twiggy was known for) $5.99 at Ulta
Smashbox Brow Tech Trio (Go over brows to clearly define them and make them thicker if necessary. Brow Tech Trio comes with a wax to go over brows and smooth them if they get unruly) $24

*Many eyeshadow companies will be able to apply a discount if you order your eyeshadow colors in a set. They will package the colors you choose in a small compact and this will help you save money rather than purchasing individual colors)

For a look like Twiggy's above you should keep your lips relatively natural. Depending on your skin tone, line your lips with a flesh colored pencil and then fill in with a matching matte lipstick.
ELF Mineral Lip Liner $3
ELF Mineral Lipstick $5

Model: Brigitte Bardot
Photo Courtesy of

Brigitte Bardot is my absolute favorite fashion icon of all time! She's gorgeous, fun, French, and uber sexy! Love "Moi, Je Joue"... adorable song! She's just so talented and fantastic! AND those lips! A lot of times she's rocking the thick eyeliner, but in this photo it is all about the big, pouty lips! Her face is so perfect that you don't even notice that 9 times out of 10 she's rocking the big hair bed head. To get a look like this you can use the same face makeup I already outlined in the Twiggy section above, but the eyes and lips are going to be different.

Eyes- Keep a natural palette going as far as eyeshadow goes. Again, use a primer or layer of moisturizer to keep the colors fresh.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow ABC Gum (Sweep this across your whole eye lid. The color is light, fresh, and natural) $18
ELF Mineral Eyeshadow Elegant (Place a soft layer right underneath the crook of your eyebrow and extend out to the edge of your browline. You can also put a little in the inner corner of your eyes. This will lift your browline and give you a fresh look) $3
ELF Mineral Eyeliner Ash (I wouldn't normally recommend this eyeliner if you're looking for a clean line, but for this look it will work really well because it smudges really easily. I also recommend this eyeliner when you're looking to make a smoky eye. For the Bardot look above, apply thickly on the upper lash line, growing in width as you get towards the outer corner of your eye and then apply a thin line right on your lower lash line above your lashes) $3
Smashbox Brow Tech Trio (Go over brows to clearly define them and make them thicker if necessary. Brow Tech Trio comes with a wax to go over brows and smooth them if they get unruly) $24 
Smashbox Bionic Mascara Indigo Ink (This will give you very full, amazing lashes and the indigo color contrasts the black liner very nicely to draw attention to your eyes, but not so much that people won't focus on your lips) $19
Eylure Naturalites 035 (These falsies will give you even more volume without looking fake... Love them for everyday wear!) $5.99 at Ulta

Smashbox O-Plump Intuitive Lip Plumper (This will give you that full pout that Bardot rocks) $24
Pur Minerals Mineral Lip Pencil with Lip Brush Pink Gypsum (This liner will define your lips without creating a harsh line) $17
Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint Exposed or Envy (This matte tint will draw attention to your full lips without overwhelming shimmer. It's also great for sensitive skin!) $24

Model: Veruschka
Photo by Franco Rubartelli found online at Lid Covers

Oh Veruschka! One of the most famous models EVER in the world and one of Yves St Laurent's muses! She was constantly representing new trends and it's fitting that her look remains an inspiration for those of us looking back for fashion to-do's. To get a look like Veruschkas' "Lid" cover photo you can again use the face makeup outlined above in the Twiggy section with a few small changes.

Face- (See above)
MAC CremeBlend Blush Something Special (Rub this in the hollow of your cheeks to really define your face and create uber high, defined cheekbones. This will also make your face look thinner) $20

Eyes- Start by applying a primer or moisturizer.
ELF Mineral Eyeshadow Angelic (Sweep right under brows to brighten and lift your brow line) $3
ELF Mineral Eyeshadow Trendy (Cover remaining eyelid beginning at the inner corner and sweeping out) $3
Pur Minerals Eyeshadow Single Chocolate Topaz (Begin just above the outer edge of your eye crease and sweep across lid diagonally to inner corner. This will also be great to smudge below your eyes to create the smoky look in the image above.) $14
MAC Paint Pot Constructivist (Put this highly pigmented, thick eyeshadow, just on your eyelid below your eye crease. It will draw attention to your lashes) $17.50
Smashbox Limitless Waterproof Liquid Liner Pen Dark Brown (Use to create a thick line both above and below your lashes.) $22
Eylure Naturalites 011 (These lases are amazing because they get thicker and angle out as they get to the edges of your eyes) $5.99 at Ulta

Smashbox O-Plump Intuitive Lip Plumper (Pouty lips are a staple of the retro look. This will plump your lips even if they're thin!) $24
Tarte Double Ended Lip Liner Deep Nude and Soft Nude (This lip liner is amazing because it has two color options in one... You can choose exactly how well defined you want your lips to be... amazing!) $10
ELF Mineral Lipstick Rosy Tan (This is my favorite lip color EVER! I swear, it looks great on everyone!) $5
MAC Clear LipGlass (Apply a very thin layer on your bottom lip and in the center crease of your upper lip to add definition to your perfectly pouty lips) $14.50

All these looks will bring out your retro goddess and call on colors, tools you can use over and over again so that you're not spending money ALL THE TIME on trendy new products... these will last you forever and therefore help out in our current economic situation. The colors and brands above are simply suggestions of some of my favorites, but if you have a different brand in a similar color, by all means please use them! It's important to be a smart and frugal fashionista!

Websites/Where to Buy Products recommended above:


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