I don’t know if you guys heard, but it was pretty cold in the Midwest last week.
“How cold was it, Alle?”
It was so cold that, with windchill, Chicago was only slightly warmer than the surface of Mars.
It was so cold that the polar bear at Lincoln Park Zoo was like, “Forget this, I’m staying inside.”
It was so cold that even the South Pole looked like a tropical island by comparison.
Hacky jokes aside, it was the coldest I’ve ever been in my entire life. Whenever I opened the weather app on my phone, I fully expected it to just give me the finger. When it got into the twenties, I was like “SUMMERTIME, GONNA WEAR SHORTS.”
Don’t worry, I got a grip.
Anyway. When it comes to ice queen beauty inspiration, I OBVIOUSLY thought of Frozen, one of the best movies I’ve seen recently. Anna and Elsa are two women who KNOW how to work Polar Vortex realness.
So I decided to take inspiration from them both and create a Frozen-esque, winter look.
I am mildly obsessed with the entire snow queen look that Elsa is serving through most of the movie. But honestly, I think that Anna’s hair is a total sleeper hit. The red with the contrasting streak of white? I love it.
Because I’m not about to get hit in the face with winter magic (or bleach the crap out of my hair), I decided to make a little clip-in streak of silvery-blonde. And it was really easy!
I happen to have a looooong track of lightest blonde weave in my bottom drawer. Best not discuss why (at least, not yet). This is what I’m going to use, along with some weave thread and a light-coloured clip. I also have some T-18 toner from Wella, the classic formerly called White Lady, that I’m going to use to give my streak a more silvery tone.
First, I decided how big I wanted my streak to be. I wanted it to be fairly noticeable, so I measured the full width of my clip and cut the track.
Because it's made of human hair, I can colour it the way I would my own--minus the scalp-burning that sometimes accompanies toning. Following the 1:2 mixing ratio Wella demands, I mixed half an ounce of toner with an ounce of 20 volume developer, then applied it to the hair with a brush and left it to process. This won’t work on synthetic hair, so please do not try it!
Hair develops at all sorts of speeds, and because this wasn’t attached to my own head, I really wasn’t sure when it would be done developing. After about fifteen minutes, it had turned a lavender-white colour--I probably should have kept a closer eye on it, but alas. I washed it with a very gentle shampoo, then blow-dried it so that I could see how it looked.
Then it was just a matter of sewing the clip onto the track…
Trimming it to the right length…
And that’s it! A silver streak for my hair!
Because it’s been so cold, I’ve been wearing my shorter hair in two very low pigtails a lot to keep the hair out of my face and look cute with winter hats. I know that some people don’t think you shouldn't wear pigtails past a certain age because they’re too precious, but I think the low placement and the short hair keeps them looking cute rather than infantile.
This worked out well, because Anna is all about the pigtails--even though my hair isn’t long enough to be braided. I arranged my hair so that you could see the silver strands really clearly, but not where it clips in at the top. The pigtails were held in place with two clear hair ties, and I was all done!
And, like I said, it also works with a hat.
The makeup look that I’m totally living for in the movie is when Elsa turns into the Snow Queen while singing "Let It Go." I’ve watched this video on YouTube so many times, it’s INSPIRATIONAL. I can’t tell you how tempted I’ve been to run outside and throw a purple cape into the wind, then dramatically say “THE COLD NEVER BOTHERED ME ANYWAY” before probably dying of hypothermia.
Here is the video, if you are one of the three people in the world who hasn’t seen it yet. It makes more sense in the context of the movie, but it stands alone too:
If you missed it, not only does Elsa’s hair get AWESOME right at the end of the song, but her makeup does too. I love unexpected colour combinations, and the purple eyes combined with cranberry lips is killing me.
So I decided to recreate it, incorporating a few additional frosty elements to make it extra-amazing.
I started by applying a raspberry-pink blush widely on the apples of my cheeks. I’m using MAC Mineralize Blush in Gentle, because it’s shimmery and warm-toned without being overpowering.
Next, I applied purple shadow all over my mobile eyelid and up past the crease, blending well so that there are no harsh lines. My purple of choice is Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow in Purple Pumps. It’s a fantastic colour and blends like a dream.
I didn’t notice during the movie (or during the six thousand times I’ve watched "Let it Go" on YouTube), but when I was looking at the character art, I noticed Elsa’s eyeshadow has a reddish-pink crease and outer corner. What else could I do? I grabbed my MAC eyeshadow in Cranberry and added it to my own face.
Next I applied some shiny silver eyeshadow to the inner corners of my eyes for that queen of winter look. I am in love with Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo Metallic eyeshadows--they are the best cream shadows I’ve ever used, hands down--and Silver Strike is a wonderful, awesome silver. I applied and blended it in towards the purple with my finger, because that’s what seems to work best on cream eyeshadows.
One thing I really noticed during this movie was the dense, extra-dark eyelashes that Elsa and Anna are sporting. What kind of mascara do you think they’re using? It’s gotta be good, because the likelihood of superblondes and redheads having lashes THAT dark are slim to none.
I thickened up my own eyelashes by adding some individual fake lash “groups” along my upper lash line. These guys are pretty much my favourite way to wear fake eyelashes as they’re easy to apply, customisable and more comfortable to wear than the ones on the band.
When I was done, I applied mascara to the entire concoction, then drew a very fine line of liquid eyeliner along the upper lash line to really make it dramatic (and also hide where the fake lashes are glued).
Elsa has a dramatic semi-smoky eye going on underneath her eyes that is totally in my wheelhouse. I slightly dampened a thin brush and drew a line about three-quarters of the way along my eye with matte black eyeshadow. Then I blended it out with the same purple that I used on my mobile lid.
On the very inside corner near my tear duct, I drew a thin line of silver with my cream shadow again and joined it up with the smoky line. I also tapped a small amount of the silver shadow under the arch of my eyebrow for highlight, because I like to sparkle and shine.
I lined my waterline with white kohl eyeliner to make my eyes Disney-huge. And now here are the eyes all finished!
I had a hard time finding the perfect colour for my lips. Eventually I mixed two shades together: my custom colour from the Bite Beauty Lab that I made while I was in NYC (3/4 Pom and 1/4 Black, if you’re curious) with a little bit of MAC Red dabbed on top for extra vibrance.
And because I wanted to look extra-snowy, I tapped a little silver glitter along the tops of my cheekbones. This is one of the beauty trends I want to see happen in the new year and so I figure I’d better practice what I preach.
And here’s the look altogether! Are you ready to run out into the wilderness and build an ice castle out of magic and singing?
I know I am!
And now, we discuss: Did you guys experience any Polar Vortex freezingness? How did you cope? Have you seen Frozen yet? "Fixer-Upper" is probably my favourite song, mostly because it has a really sweet message. What about you guys?