Have you guys noticed this ridiculous blingy brow trend/epidemic? I first spotted it a couple years ago in a Dior brow mascara that thankfully seems to have been discontinued. These copycat swatches are Anastasia x2 and Perfekt x2, respectively. The Sephora gal who caught me snapping these pics was totally into the glam brow look, and she tried to get me on board, haha. No dice! (To be fair, I realize that my arm hair is sort of weirdly glimmery in this shot, but let’s agree to pretend it’s not. We all know how weird their lighting can be, especially when taking covert cell phone pics to avoid Browfrontations.)

Here’s a closer look at the swatches. I’m OK with slightly shimmery eyelash mascara (but not full-on glitter mascara; that seems both tacky and painful), like the YSL gray stuff I tried before. But not brows. It’s just not OK, people! Noticeably made-up brows remind me of that terrible harsh grandma look where they’re totally plucked out and then drawn (or worse, tattooed) on, ya know? So even if it’s glimmer instead of thick black brow-polygons, I still don’t ever want to call attention to my eyebrows being made up. To me it’s kind of like those horrible and thankfully short-lived blingy clear bra straps that were meant to be displayed. Ew. It looks trashy and sticky and juvenile and fleeting and silly and incorrect.

God, I can’t get over how dumb these look to me. (The two Perfekt, or I guess Per-fekt [sic] swatches look the same and less sparkly, but you have to trust me that they’re a) different and b) totes sparkly.) These sorta reminds me of Sephora’s gag cat-brow spoof of 2010. If I try it just to amuse myself one of these days, I’ll post a picture (probably just on Twitter) but I won’t be shelling out my hard-earned VIB points to pick up an actual blingy brow gel product. I’ll fake it with hair spray and sparkly eye shadow, like a gentlewoman.

What sticks in my craw is that neither of these product lines has a non-shimmery alternative in the tinted brow mascara category. Nope, they assume that IF you are interested in pigmented brow groomitude via spooly brush, then you MUST also be interested in glamming up those brows. Which is a shame, because I literally cannot find any good solid neutral-looking brow mascara anymore. I used to have an amazing one by Chanel called “Le Forme Soucils” in Taupe and it was so subtle and lovely, I was so sad when I ran out right after they had discontinued it. Every brow mascara I’ve tried since then has either had the Shimmer of Death, or has been a weirdly reddish shade that doesn’t match my coloring. That Taupe was so perfect because it really was taupe, like  a sort of ashy dark blonde that was just a hint of color to help define my brows. Le sigh, Chanel. Le sigh.

The lighter half of Anastasia’s ash blonde brow powder duo (above right) mixed with hairspray is the closest thing I can pull off, which is a pain in the ass/brow, so I never bother even though I look way more polished when I do. So Anastasia, if you can make perfectly matte and taupe shades of brow powder that are appropriately conservative and subtle, why the hell can’t you make that same concept in another less powdery product? Please? I’ll stop publicly mocking your sparklebrows line if you do, promise. xoxo

I have solved Gillian Anderson’s biggest beauty dilemma.

She even looks like she has my same coloring here. (I think it's just a trick of the light, though.)Well, OK, her biggest beauty dilemma c. 1994-ish that her publisher allowed to be printed in some Cosmo or JANE interview. (Side note — why do I have such a freakish memory for stuff like this, but can’t remember the time-old question of where I put my keys/glasses/insert cliché noun here?) ANYWAY — so back when I was in high school, I read some trashy rag in which the lovely Scully actress said she was constantly searching for a lip gloss that was the exact same shade as her tongue. Well, Gillian, I may not be a redhead, but I’m a fair-skinned makeup maven with a freakish memory and I think I found your match.

Man, while I'm lukewarm about actual NARS cosmetics, I LOVE the black rubbery packaging. So sexy to the touch.It’s NARS Chihuahua — part of a limited-time free Sephora VIB bonus. I’m so glad I jumped and placed an order when this offer came through, because even though the NARS bonus had only two products (when the TooFaced and BeneFit promos had more), the two items are quite nice and the bronzer contains more product than I’ll ever go through in my lifetime. The gloss is described on the site as “Guava” colored, which I can’t really vouch for as I don’t recall ever seeing a non-processed guava. Plus aren’t there like a zillion subspecies, like with papayas? Whatever — it’s lovely, sheer, and free of shimmer. (My big obsession lately is shimmer-free gloss, for some reason.) And totally the color of my tongue.

Anyway, Gillian, here’s hoping this helps. Because you surely subscribe to my RSS feed. You’re welcome!

Age, makeup, hair…

So I recently hit 29, which has coincided with my skin starting to show its first signs of aging. I’ve also been shifting towards a more grown-up lifestyle and image over the past few years, yet I’ve started working in increasingly low-key settings with a more casual dress code and funkier limits for hair and makeup. While I don’t much miss the slutty zany clubbing clothes of my skinnier and drunker youth, I do kind of miss some of the crazy makeup, and I admit to taking advantage of the casual setting by rocking bright turquoise shadow/liner from time to time!

I keep hearing (mainly from the Lauren Hutton brand) that women “of a certain age” should avoid shimmer-based makeup. I’m starting to notice that some shimmery makeups do indeed settle in my few fine lines and make me look older, but others still seem to flatter. I definitely decided a few years ago that glittery makeup was a no-go for me anymore, except for really extreme occasions, like New Year’s Eve or maybe my upcoming bachelorette party.

I now work in a very young-looking industry (video games) with loads of women who wear pigtails and black lipstick well into their 50s and are covered with visible tattoos and dye their hair crazy colors. And I feel like this skews my perceptions of age- and work-appropriate makeup and hair stylings in a “normal” setting, partly because I’m in a techie bubble (heavily influenced by Japanese trends too) and partly because those definitions themselves are shifting.

All this has got me wondering what everyone else thinks! (This was modified from an EDS post, but I wanted to blog it too to see if there’s any different feedback from that community.)

When are you too old to wear makeup with glitter in it? Is there a difference between glittery eye makeup, glittery lip stuff, glittery nail polish?

When are you too old to wear zany colored makeup, likecolored eyeliner? How about very bright lip color? Bold blusher?

What about false lashes? Crazy colors of nail polish (like very dark/black, bright blues, etc.)? Do any of those have age restrictions?

At what age do you stop wearing shimmery stuff? (We can talk skin age rather than actual years — like how lined does your face have to be before it’s time to lay off the shimmer? Is there a good litmus test for this?)

What about twee-seeming hair trends, like headbands orbraided styles or what have you? Any restrictions on type, color, material of fascinator, hats, etc. that have just gone over my head? What about hairstyles that are throwbacks to prior decades, like perfectly teased 60s flips, long straight middle-parted 70s Cher hair, or 80s side ponytails à la Flashdance? What’s your limit?

Anyway, I was just curious to solicit the opinions of other beauty nerds out there. Any input from posters of any style, skin type, age range, etc. is most welcome!